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With forecasts reaching agreement on a moderate wind event beginning late Tuesday, the NWS Bay Area has upgraded their Fire Weather Watch to a Red Flag Warning, and extended it through 3PM on Wednesday. (Image 1)

Red Flag Warnings now cover most of Northern California. As a low pressure center drops south and east of California, winds are expected to pick up late Tuesday and continue overnight into Wednesday. With fuel already at record dry levels, the winds will also bring very low humidity, worsening the threat posed by any fire starts. Here is one forecast for expected winds on the mountains of the North Bay (2500ft) at around 5AM Wednesday. The highest peaks will have winds gusting from 30-50MPH. (Image 2) You can see the winds spilling into the mountains of the North Bay. The strongest winds will be above 1K feet, and the Red Flag Warning is for those areas.

Smoke is also expected to be an issue. This forecasts show strong northerly winds aloft bringing increased elevated and surface smoke into the Bay Area and North Bay by Wednesday morning. (Image 3) Make sure to have a mask that filters fine particulates (N95 or similar) on hand if you plan to spend any time outdoors on Wednesday and Thursday.

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