| Redding Record Searchlight
As the greater Redding area endures another day of critical fire weather, it doesn’t appear this pattern of warm, dry weather will change anytime soon.
And in fact, there’s a chance the windy conditions that have gripped the North State since Wednesday could return late next week, the National Weather Service said Saturday.
The Weather Service has extended its red flag warning for the area until 3 p.m. Saturday. This is the third time since late Thursday the critical fire weather warning has been extended. Originally, it was supposed to expire at 11 a.m. Friday.
The high for Redding on Saturday is expected to be 96 degrees.
“Redding is in a prime location to experience those hot, dry winds,” said Sierra Littlefield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It does look like (the winds) will be slowly declining — I believe they won’t be as high as yesterday — but we do have the potential for gusts as high as 20 miles per hour.”
Littlefield said it’s too early to know for certain, but some models show breezy, windy conditions returning next week.
“It looks like there is some indication of a little change in our pattern that could bring cooler temperatures, but no moisture and potentially breezy weather,” she said.
Nearly 32,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers lost power during the utility’s latest public safety power shutoffs due to the critical fire weather. The power was shut off Thursday and all affected customers got their power back late Friday.
Meanwhile, while some areas of Shasta County got a trace of precipitation when a cold front moved through the area last weekend, no rain has been recorded at Redding Municipal Airport so far in October, Littlefield said. The airport is the city’s official rain gauge.
The last time Redding experienced a dry October was in 2002, the National Weather Service said. Redding also had dry Octobers in 1966 and 1978.
The average rainfall in Redding in October is 2.11 inches.
In 1962, the city received a record 8.85 inches of rain in October.
“In the immediate future, it looks like we will stay pretty dry, but it is fall, sooner or later, eventually I would think we are going to get something,” Littlefield said of precipitation. “There is some hint of a change of pattern in the longer-range models. … But we can confidentially say we will stay warm and dry into next week. But beyond that, I guess we will see how things evolved.”
Sunday’s forecast high in Redding is 93 with a north wind blowing 5-8 mph. It’s expected to be 90 on Monday with a north wind blowing 3-7 mph, the National Weather Service said.
David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly “Buzz on the Street” column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.