Area on Public Safety Power Shutoff “watch”
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Red Flag Warning for the beginning half of this week. The warning replaces a Fire Weather Watch that was declared on Sunday, Oct. 18. The warning is in effect for North Bay mountains from 11 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19 through 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
According to the NWS, north to northeast winds are expected to reach 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts of 25 to 40 miles per hour. The winds are supposed to peak overnight on both Monday and Tuesday.
Humidity is expected to be in the 12-20% range, with overnight recovery in the 20-30% range. While the warning is in effect for mountains throughout the North Bay, the areas facing the highest threat are the mountains of Napa County and northeastern Sonoma County.
The wind, combined with poor humidity recovery, will lead to increased risk of new fire starts, as well as pave the way for potential rapid spread of any fire that may occur.
As of Monday afternoon, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has designated the region as being on “watch” for a Public Safety Power Shutoff, due to the predicted winds. Sonoma County sits in PG&E zone 3, which encompasses the Bay Area. As such, the zone being in a PSPS watch could pertain to Sonoma County, or any other area in the zone. The watch currently lists potential for a PSPS on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23. As the weather event gets closer, the power company may put the area on a PSPS “warning,” which signifies higher potential for a targeted power shutoff.
PG&E has not given a prediction for what areas may be impacted, should a PSPS occur. To look up your address should a PSPS warning be issued, click here.
This weather watch comes right on the heels of a Fire Weather Watch and subsequent Red Flag Warning that was issued last week, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 14 and lasting through Saturday evening, Oct. 17. Last week’s weather event was accompanied by a heat advisory and resulted in some PG&E customers having their power turned off.