Rain over the first week of the new year has given way to a dry spell with unseasonably warm temps — a false early spring akin to something we saw in the Bay Area in the depths of the drought in 2014.
Thursday's temperatures were nearing records set for January in 2014, and while Friday will cool down slightly, the warming continues into MLK Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, as ABC 7's Mike Nicco forecasts. Inland temperatures up to 72 degrees are likely by Sunday, with similarly warm 68- to 70-degree temps along the Bay — basically as warm as the average summer day in San Francisco if not warmer.
Those who were here seven years ago may remember the bizarrely warm January during the drought, which was nice for beachgoers but bad overall, with a string of rare January Red Flag warnings. This year is playing out similarly, and Nicco suggests, "We are not there yet, but we could get close Monday."
As discussed earlier, we're in the midst of a moderate La Niña event this winter, which sometimes translates to below-average rainfall — and certainly this rainy season took far too long to begin, after the horrific and long fire season we endured in 2020.
"If we do have a fire threat, it's not critical yet, but it could be on Monday," says Nicco. "The winds will be super strong and the air will be super dry. That's something we will keep an eye on. For now, enjoy the wonderful weather if spring and sunshine is your thing."
Normal rainfall to date in downtown San Francisco would be around 10.7 inches, but so far this season we've only seen 3.1 inches — less than a third of normal. If things don't change in late January and into February and March, we could be in for another smoke-filled nail-biter of a fire season, which is not what the people in the North Bay and East Bay hills want to hear after making through 2020 — that is if their homes even made it through the multiple wildfires of 2020.
There's still zero rain in the seven-day forecast, but temperatures are expected to cool down a bit Tuesday and Wednesday, with bayside highs around 65.