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Heat, risk of fires, rip current pose danger in Bay Area this weekend

Hot weather prompts Palo Alto to open cooling center starting Sunday

The Bay Area is expected to see "dry and hot" weather this weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Photo by Anuragrana18/Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Weather will pose a danger to Bay Area residents starting Friday with a higher risk for rip currents at beaches and increased wildfire risk starting Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

A larger northwest swell will visit beaches starting early Friday morning, bringing with it larger waves and raising the risk for rip currents.

Heat, low humidity and higher winds, especially in higher terrain, will raise the risk for wildfires as the area recovers from an earlier than expected fire season.

A fire weather watch goes into effect at 11 a.m. Saturday for the North Bay mountains and East Bay hills.

"Those areas are usually the most vulnerable," said Gerry Diaz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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That's because higher winds are expected in those areas, he said, along with poor humidity recovery overnight.

In the highest peaks, 50 mph gusts are possible along with temperatures in the 90s to 100.

Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned already this year in and around the Bay Area. Winds help to spread fires, and contributing to the increased risk for fires will be the poor overnight humidity recoveries, which means the vegetation will be drier.

"Dry and hot," Diaz said. "That sets up a dangerous situation where all it takes is one spark to get things going."

Inland Bay Area locations will see temperatures rise 15 to 20 degrees relative to the recent milder weather. Coastal areas will see temperatures rise 10 to 15 degrees.

The high temperatures in the forecast has led the city of Palo Alto to open its cooling center on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 27-28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mitchell Park Community Center's El Palo Alto room at 3700 Middlefield Road. Anyone who visits the center is asked to follow public health protocols, such as wearing a mask, and maintain physical distance from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit cityofpaloalto.org.

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Heat, risk of fires, rip current pose danger in Bay Area this weekend

Hot weather prompts Palo Alto to open cooling center starting Sunday

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Uploaded: Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 4:23 pm

Weather will pose a danger to Bay Area residents starting Friday with a higher risk for rip currents at beaches and increased wildfire risk starting Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

A larger northwest swell will visit beaches starting early Friday morning, bringing with it larger waves and raising the risk for rip currents.

Heat, low humidity and higher winds, especially in higher terrain, will raise the risk for wildfires as the area recovers from an earlier than expected fire season.

A fire weather watch goes into effect at 11 a.m. Saturday for the North Bay mountains and East Bay hills.

"Those areas are usually the most vulnerable," said Gerry Diaz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

That's because higher winds are expected in those areas, he said, along with poor humidity recovery overnight.

In the highest peaks, 50 mph gusts are possible along with temperatures in the 90s to 100.

Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned already this year in and around the Bay Area. Winds help to spread fires, and contributing to the increased risk for fires will be the poor overnight humidity recoveries, which means the vegetation will be drier.

"Dry and hot," Diaz said. "That sets up a dangerous situation where all it takes is one spark to get things going."

Inland Bay Area locations will see temperatures rise 15 to 20 degrees relative to the recent milder weather. Coastal areas will see temperatures rise 10 to 15 degrees.

The high temperatures in the forecast has led the city of Palo Alto to open its cooling center on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 27-28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mitchell Park Community Center's El Palo Alto room at 3700 Middlefield Road. Anyone who visits the center is asked to follow public health protocols, such as wearing a mask, and maintain physical distance from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit cityofpaloalto.org.

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