The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory and a Red Flag Warning for the Mother Lode and the Stanislaus National Forest now through 7 AM Friday.
High pressure building inland has resulted in winds ranging from fifteen to forty mph with gusts ranging from forty-five to sixty-five mph as well as drying conditions over northern California today. The strongest winds are expected through favorably oriented canyons and over the highest ridges.
Widespread poor overnight humidity recoveries are as low as fifteen to thirty percent. Afternoon humidity may drop to as low as ten to fifteen percent.
The combination of dry fuels, strong wind, and low humidity leads to critical fire weather conditions into early Friday. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Blowing debris, downed tree branches and power outages are possible. Hazardous driving conditions are expected for small cars and high profile vehicles.
The strong winds will begin to decrease Friday morning but the dry conditions will continue through the weekend.
A Wind Advisory means that sustained winds up to thirty-nine mph and or gusts up to fifty-seven mph are expected.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.