Critical fire danger Friday & Saturday
It’s a chilly start to our Thursday across much of the Pacific Northwest. Most locations have dropped into the 40s and 50s this morning as a dry cold front slides through the region. Today is going to be a great day across our western valleys. Expect to see some patchy low clouds in the metro area, but those should clear out to sunshine pretty quickly. Highs will only reach the upper 70s and low 80s. Expect a breezy north wind to kick in late today. I suggest taking down your patio umbrellas and anything else that might get thrown around by the wind. It’s going to get a lot windier as we head into Friday.
The National Weather Service has upgraded our fire weather watch to a *Red Flag Warning* to highlight the critical fire danger we are facing between Friday and Saturday. Our wind will turn offshore (directed from land to sea). This dry east wind will cause our temperatures to spike, our relative humidity to drop, and could lead to rapid fire growth (if new fires were to break out). Public Safety Power Shutoffs are likely in forested areas near the Cascades, the east slopes of the Coast Range and potentially in parts of the West Hills of Portland. This is a step PGE is considering to reduce the threat of new wildfires. Additionally, wildfire smoke is expected to spread west of the Cascades, so our skies will probably be pretty hazy for at least one day. Highs will get close to 90 degrees Friday afternoon, and it will likely be very warm along the coastline too. Due to windy conditions Friday night, our temperatures will struggle to fall into the 60s. Expect highs to climb into the low to mid 90s Saturday afternoon.
Our wind will begin to shift between Saturday and Sunday, which will start a cooling trend and reduce our fire danger. Highs will drop back into the 80s in our western valleys, and should continue to fall heading into mid next week.
Be very careful while recreating this weekend. We just need to get through Friday and Saturday and conditions should improve drastically Sunday & Monday.
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