CBS San Francisco Staff Report
ST HELENA (CBS SF) — Gusty offshore winds topped 60 mph on Mt. St. Helena early Monday, fueling anxieties among Wine County residents who have grown weary of California’s lingering historic wildfire season as the region remained under yet another Red Flag Warning.
The National Weather Service’s Red Flag Warning was scheduled to remain in place for much of the San Francisco Bay Area until 5 p.m.
“The strongest winds are forecast this morning through midday before gradually decreasing this afternoon,” weather service forecasters said.
Overnight, NWS wind gauges clocked wind readings of 70 mph on Mt. St. Helena, 56 mph in the Healdsburg hills and 43 mph in Santa Rosa and on Mt. Tam.
Winds are still offshore and gusty in some parts. Highest winds overnight were at elevated terrain. Max wind gust ob was measured at, no surprise, Mt St Helena. Wind Advisory continues through 11 AM PST.#CAwx pic.twitter.com/uZegabvLUQ
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) December 7, 2020
According to the weather service, winds will be 15-to-25 mph with frequent gusts up to 45 mph above 1000 feet across much of the region.
Unfortunately, the gusty winds and low humidity levels Monday were adding to the drought conditions in the San Francisco Bay Area that has left the hills filled with tinder dry fuel.
Red Flag: Update – while peak offshore winds are expected overnight, winds are expected to remain offshore and breezy through the day and humidiy levels will be dry due to afternoon heating. Therefore, the #RedFlagWarning has been extended to 5 PM PST Monday#CAwx #CAfire pic.twitter.com/Fr9r6G60IQ
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) December 6, 2020
Napa, Solano and Lake counties currently are experiencing extreme drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map released late this week. The reminder of the San Francisco Bay Area has fallen into the severe drought status.
While the conditions remained in place for the Red Flag Warning, they had improved enough for Pacific Gas & Electric officials to shelve plans for a series of planned power outages in the North Bay.
“Based on more favorable weather conditions, Pacific Gas and Electric Company will be notifying customers this morning that it will not be initiating a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) today,” the company said in a morning news release.