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Electrical Storms… In the San Francisco Bay Area?

As if on cue to reinforce my previous post’s observation about California’s dry weather year, the Weather Service is now predicting a very-unusual-around-these-parts chance of thunderstorms over the Central California coast today. From an article in SFGate:

Tropical moisture wandering up from Central California is predicted to make its way into the South Bay and East Bay this afternoon, producing a chance of thunderstorms over higher terrain, the weather service said…

In addition to the possible thunderstorm, the Bay Area and Northern California will be awash in red flag warnings, electricity alerts, fire weather watches and heat advisories.

Perhaps the greatest danger from the thunderstorms is the possibility that dry lightning could spark fires, given that inland temperatures are expected to approach 100 degrees again today. A red flag warning was posted for Monterey County.

Such weather is not unheard of in the late summer around here, but it isn’t the typical pattern. The problem – as mentioned in the article – is that frequently the lightning is not accompanied by any significant rain, so instead of relieving some of the dryness these storms more often set off fires. It is fire season between now and late October in California, and it is an exceptionally dry year.

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August 30, 2007 - Posted by | Environment

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