Northern Californians are girding for winds this weekend that are expected to be the strongest so far this season and among the strongest in the last few years, according to the National Weather Service.
Northerly to northeasterly winds will be especially powerful Saturday evening through Sunday evening, forecasters say. Red-flag fire warnings will be posted for much of the northern part of the state this weekend as a strong, dry system moves south. The system will generate potentially damaging winds through interior areas, including the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and in parts of the foothills and mountains, resulting in extreme fire conditions. Any fires that start will spread rapidly.
Winds will be 30 to 50 mph with gusts of 45 to 70 mph. Locally higher wind velocities are possible in wind-prone canyons and over exposed ridges. Daytime relative humidity could dip as low as the single digits, and will not recover much overnight.
Red-flag warnings will be in effect in many places from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Monday. High-wind warnings will be in effect in some areas from 8 p.m. Saturday to 11 p.m. Sunday.
Red-flag warnings expire Friday evening in Southern California, but fire weather watches remain in effect over much of the Los Angeles region through Monday afternoon because of possible gusty Santa Ana winds and low humidity.
Authorities urge residents up and down the state to be alert to local weather conditions.