The National Weather Service issued a “Red Flag Warning” in effect today through Wednesday, forecasting a high chance of fire due to thunderstorms and winds.
A 20 to 40 percent chance of thunderstorms is predicted through Wednesday night in the Mother Lode.
Most activity will be in the mountains — a 40 percent chance of lightning at Pinecrest Reservoir and 50 percent at Lake Alpine — with a diminishing chance of lighting in the foothills and Central Valley.
They are not likely to produce thoroughly wetting rains below 5,000 feet, so the lightning and gusty winds will create a hazard for starting new fires and helping spread fires already burning.
Precipitation is also forecast at a 20 percent chance through Wednesday night. Less than 0.10 inch is predicted to fall each day. Thunderstorms could bring heavier rainfall, however.
Temperatures will remain high. Highs are forecast to reach 100 degrees today and fall to 90 on Wednesday, then stay around 90 the rest of the week.
Lows are expected in the mid- to low 60s to high 50s.
Sunny skies are forecast for Thursday and the remainder of the week in the foothills.
The chance of lightning at high elevations is 20 percent on Thursday.