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.
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.
Image: Getty Images/Samantha Kreling