Gusty winds and persistently dry conditions are potentially going to create fire danger for parts of the Bay Area between Sunday and Monday, which is the last thing that anyone in fire-prone areas wants to hear after an exhausting fire season.
It's too soon to say whether a Red Flag Warning will be necessary, but meteorologists are warning that fire conditions could once again get dicier at the end of this weekend. As the Chronicle reports, via a report from the National Weather Service, wind gusts are expected to pick up at higher elevations around the Bay Area beginning Sunday afternoon and extending into Monday evening.
NWS meteorologist Brayden Murdock tells the paper, "We’re a bit behind in rainfall... It’s very dry and the fuels can add up."
The weather service retweeted a chart showing the frequency of Red Flag Warnings per month in the last 14 years, and you can see that December Red Flags are not unheard of — we last had one in 2017, and previously also in 2013.
This was a banner/hellish year for Red Flag Warnings around the Bay, though, with a dozen issued between June and November — and six issued in October alone, the one-month record for the last decade and a half.
Meanwhile wildfires are still cropping up in Southern California as Santa Ana winds continue stoking the flames in multiple spots. The Bond Fire in Orange County's Santiago Canyon had reached over 3,500 acres as of Thursday morning, prompting evacuations.
Due to this year's La Niña, a drier-than-normal winter is predicted for Southern California and the Southwest, while it could go either way for the Bay Area or be close to average. La Niña years do tend to mean later starts to the wet season for us, however, as we noted yesterday, with heavier rains typically arriving later in December or January.
Photo: Greg Shield