Dry offshore winds and low humidity prompted a red flag fire warning in Northern California and broke two record high temperatures on Thursday in Humboldt County, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Garcia.
”Crescent City got into 75 degrees, Eureka got to 70 degrees,” Garcia said. “It's a lot different than we'd see this time of year. Our normal for Eureka this time of year is 56 degrees.”
The cause of the high temperatures is a combination of low pressure and dry offshore winds. Garcia said the winds travel down the mountains to the coast and compress, causing them to become dry.
”Today we had some good downsloping winds with this area of low pressure,” Garcia said. “Really dry air, low humidity -- that's the reason for the fire weather warning.”
The dry weather also caused the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning, which Garcia said “are nearly unheard of for this time of year.”
The CalFire website states that red flag warnings are issued when the weather “may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours.”
Garcia said that beachgoers looking to make the most out of the warm weather should stay further inland due to sneaker waves -- large, powerful waves lurking amid smaller surf after being driven over long distances from storms across the ocean. Sneaker waves began to hit the North Coast Thursday and will continue into tomorrow.
”It is imperative that people remain back from the surf and off of the jetty and rocks,” Garcia said. “You never know which one of those waves will sneak up and grab you.”
Will Houston can be reached at 707-441-0504 or firstname.lastname@example.org