Warm and gusty offshore winds are expected to buffet portions of the Bay Area this weekend, but an anticipated rise in humidity has helped lower the fire risk that led meteorologists to contemplate a red flag warning earlier in the week. A red flag in December is rare. Wildfire fuels in grassland and forest areas are approaching record levels of dryness that could last into mid-December, according to the National Weather Service. Those conditions, plus windy weather expected to start late Sunday, could create an environment in which wildfires could rapidly spread. PG&E warned Friday that it could start shutting off power in 15 counties, including Napa and Sonoma counties, early Monday. The utility routinely shuts down power at times of dry, windy weather to prevent its lines from sparking more fires. The fire threat would diminish if humidity levels rise, NWS meteorologist Ryan Gass said. Drier air won’t settle in the region until Monday afternoon, by which time weekend winds should calm. Winds are expected to pick up late Sunday and will be strongest Monday, especially at higher elevations like Mount St. Helena and Mount Diablo. PG&E said its power shut-offs were most likely to affect the North Bay… Read full this story
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