Forecaster says North Solano faces moderate risk of dry lightning

(Graphic by Solano NewsNet)

Portions of northern Solano County are at a moderate risk for developing thunderstorms on Thursday that could produce dry lightning strikes and the chance of new wildfires, according to a weather forecaster.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, KGO-TV (Channel 7) meteorologist Drew Tuma said the thunderstorms are likely to develop within a four-hour window starting Thursday evening at 10 p.m.

A map published by Tuma showed areas of Solano County under a moderate risk of dry lightning include rural portions of Fairfield, Vacaville and Winters east of Interstate 80 and Interstate 505, extending northward well into rural Yolo County.

Much of the Sacramento valley, including all of Solano County, will be placed under a Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service starting Thursday at 5 p.m., with the alert period extending into Friday morning.

Forecasters say the dry lightning storms coupled with gusty wind could trigger new wildfires that ignite quickly and spread rapidly.

A similar weather situation played out in Napa County last year when thunderstorms caused dry lightning that sparked a part of what became the LNU Lightning Complex wildfire.

The wildfire crossed into Solano County one day later, charring tens of thousands of acres of land and destroying hundreds of homes in rural parts of Vacaville, Fairfield and Winters.

Though weather conditions are expected to be poor, the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has not announced plans to implement a planned safety power shutoff (PSPS) for Solano County or anywhere else in Northern California.

The utility company said state officials have issued for a Flex Alert between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday in order to prevent electrical outages caused by excessive power use.

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