The NWS Office in Eureka characterized their confidence in the likelihood of the event as “moderate to high” with predictions of scattered dry lightning and gusty outflow winds increasing the threat for fire starts and rapid fire spread in the region.
25-year veteran of the National Weather Service Scott Carroll in Eureka said Friday’s fire weather watch associated with potential thunderstorms over the Emerald Triangle has been diminished as monsoonal moisture dampens the atmosphere.
“Remember, when dark clouds approach, seek shelter immediately inside a building or a vehicle.”
Fortunately, in many cases, firefighters have reported that fires have “put themselves out” due to the significant moisture brought about by the storm system.
The scanner is chaotic right now with multiple incidents associated with the afternoon storm system that brought lightning and rains to the area.
Mendocino County residents gazed upon illuminated skies late last night as lightning crawled across the lower atmosphere. Doug Boushey, a meteorologist working for the National Weather Office in Eureka for the last 27 years, predicted lightning activity this afternoon could prove more active as the daytime heat rises destabilizing the lower atmosphere.
“The National Weather Service in Eureka, California has notified the Sheriff’s Office of an Elevated Fire Weather Conditions and Warm Temperatures in Mendocino County.”
The National Weather Service warns of potential hazardous travel conditions affecting Highway 101 with potentially 1-2” of snow near the Laytonville corridor.
“Damage from wind, heavy rains and snow, and access issues due to roads blocked by trees, debris and snow, is most severe in a few location, Willits and the Brooktrails area, for example. We are utilizing snow cats, off-road vehicles and helicopters to aide in the assessment of damage in the areas with the most access issues and damage.”
“The hardest-hit areas with the most remaining outages are in the Sacramento and Stockton regions as well as in Humboldt and Mendocino counties. About 16,000 customers in the Bay Area were still being affected by storm outages.”