Widespread lightning on Sunday and Monday from the remnants of a tropical storm in the Pacific hundreds of miles to the south has led to a nightmarish early fire season across Northern California. Now the remnants of yet another storm, formerly Hurricane Genevieve, pose another threat of lightning around the Bay Area — though chances are low that the threat will be serious.
Since early this week, weather forecasters have been suggesting that bands of moisture from Genevieve stood to send us even more unusual thunderstorms in this already unusual August in the Bay Area. Now, as National Weather Service forecaster Roger Gass tells SFGate, while the picture isn't crystal clear just yet, there is about a 15-percent chance that storm activity on Sunday night into Tuesday morning could bring dry lightning to the Bay Area.
This lightning would be arriving just as fire crews are — hopefully — getting a handle on the lightning-sparked fires that are currently burning to the north, east, and south of San Francisco.
The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Sunday starting at 11 a.m., until Tuesday at 11 a.m.
⚠️Dry t-storms will be possible again Sun - Tue. Any t-storms that occur will bring the potential for new fire starts, so a Fire Weather Watch has been issued. Remember, always have an emergency plan during fire season in case a fire starts near you. https://t.co/YNs31lEDDm #CAwx pic.twitter.com/zmWwsj66fu— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) August 21, 2020
"Elevated moisture and instability from former Hurricane Genevieve will advance northward later this weekend through early next week and bring an increased potential for elevated thunderstorms across much of Northern California. A low pressure system off the coast may enhance and strengthen these thunderstorms as they transition into the region by early next week," the NWS says.
"Right now we’re concerned for the whole area, but as we get closer to the event, that’s when we can fine tune the forecast with areas that are most likely to have more concern," Gass tells SFGate. "These types of situation can vary. Sometimes these storms stay off the coast, but any strikes that were to occur over land and especially over dry areas would be of concern right now."
The satellite picture below shows both the smoke from the nearby fires blowing inland over Nevada and Idaho, and the moisture from Tropical Storm Genevieve off the Baja coast.
This big picture shows the smoke not only along the coast and in the Central Valley, but well offshore and spreading into Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Moisture from Tropical Storm Genevieve can also being seeing off the coast of Baja. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/4fev7e0UQ8— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) August 21, 2020
Hopes and prayers for storms that stay off the coast everybody!
But since it's 2020 you better brace for the worst.