Bay Area Wind Tunnel Brings on the Heat

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Grab your shorts, swimsuits and summer dresses, everybody. The Bay Area is about to experience the first real heat wave of the year.

You will be able to literally feel the wave coming starting Friday and through the weekend thanks to high pressure to our north and low pressure scooting by Arizona. That puts the Bay Area in between the two for a 'wind tunnel' effect. 

The Bay Area will see gusty winds that could top 45-50 mph in the hills as things heat up and dry out this weekend.

Expect fire weather advisories, in the form of red flag warnings for the North and East Bay hills into early next week. 

Why suddenly so hot and dry?

Instead of our seemingly non-stop sea breeze this spring, winds moving away from high pressure involve sinking air that warms and actually dries out as it descends in elevation (something our resident weather geek Rob Mayeda calls 'dry adiabatic warming').  "A parcel of air will dry and warm as it drops down from the hilltop locations to sea level," he adds.  "In this pattern our coastal areas and peninsula should see 70s and 80s and 90s possible in our inland valleys."

So we're seeing a hair dryer effect instead of the typical ocean A/C.  As far as that free marine cooling goes, it looks like you'll have to wait until about next Tuesday for cooling to return.

For now - remember to keep yourself well hydrated if you're outdoors and be mindful of your pets, younger children and the elderly as our temperatures climb.  We may also see air quality take a dive by Monday - our first Spare The Air days for ground level ozone seem likely as winds start to back off under strong high pressure early next week.

In the meantime - enjoy our "Summer Preview" and keep cool!

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