The potential for dry thunderstorms striking parts of the Bay Area has now led the National Weather Service to elevate areas that were previously under a Fire Weather Watch now to a Red Flag Warning.
Fire season is in full swing — one that's already set to be worse than the historic one we saw in 2020. Record-breaking levels of drought continue to worsen throughout the Bay Area. Redwood forests and other areas scorched by last year's blazes are still recovering.
And in an unsettling fit of déjà vu, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Red Flag Warning Saturday that will go into effect Sunday Morning and last until Monday evening.
A Red Flag Warning has been issued due to the threat of dry lightning starting late Sunday morning and lasting through Monday afternoon.— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) July 17, 2021
Be sure to stay weather aware and have a plan if a fire starts in your area.#CAwx pic.twitter.com/F1uJ1QATKc
"A Red Flag Warning has been issued due to the threat of dry lightning starting late Sunday morning and lasting through Monday afternoon," reads a tweet from the weather agency. "Be sure to stay weather aware and have a plan if a fire starts in your area."
The NWS had already put parts of the Bay Area under a Fire Weather Watch for this weekend; the areas included the East Bay Hills, North Bay Mountains, Diablo Range, and Santa Cruz Mountains; these same areas are now under the warning — one level above the watch — which will last from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday as potential dry thunderstorms roll through the areas.
To reiterate: All of the regions under the watch are experiencing "exceptional drought" conditions, per the US Drought Monitor. And "Cloud to Ground" lighting has the potential to ignite new wildfires.
Now's as good a time as any to make sure you have your fire emergency kit ready to go (and look at how you can reduce your water use).
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San Francisco Water Use Has Declined Since Last Drought — What Else Can You Do to Conserve?
Image: Getty Images/Samantha Kreling