Higher temperatures and gusty offshore winds later this week have PG&E warning customers in the North Bay and elsewhere that there could be another PSPS (public safety power shutoff) in their future.
Winds are expected to pickup midday Wednesday and continue through Friday, pointing to the possibility of at least two days without power for parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the mountains in Sonoma and Napa county — communities still reeling from recent wildfires, one of which is still smoldering. (The Glass Fire is 95-percent contained as of Monday morning.)
The National Weather Service is forecasting a warming trend that will peak on Thursday and Friday, which, when combined with low humidity and more potential Diablo winds, could be a recipe for new wildfires that our region hardly needs. But, alas, fire season is not over.
The warming trend that got underway on Sunday will continue across the #BayArea and Central Coast through Friday. Warmest temperatures are expected on Thursday and Friday when offshore flow will be strongest. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/oc24JLL5OC— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 12, 2020
NWS meteorologist Anna Schneider tells the Chronicle that the winds are expected to be highest Wednesday night into Thursday morning, creating an increased risk for downed power lines and wildfires.
PG&E is still calling this a "possible Diablo wind event" on its website, and updates should be coming in the next day or so. Another MWS meteorologist, Wilfred Pi, told the Chronicle that right now there is "more than a 50-percent chance" that this high wind event will take shape.
"Gusts at or above 50 mph are looking possible in elevated terrain in the North Bay and Northern Sierra," PG&E says.
PG&E said earlier in the fire season that PSPS events would be briefer and more targeted this year. Interestingly, on the windy night that the Glass Fire broke out and the subsequent day in which it spread into Sonoma County, PG&E did not initially shut anyone's power off despite a previous warning that they might.
A small grass fire broke out in Moraga on Sunday evening but was quickly contained.
The Zogg Fire to our north is now 99-percent contained, while the August Complex fires are slowly gaining containment and now stand at 75-percent contained.