High of 70 forecast for Sacramento, red flag warning issued for Sierra

01/14/2014 6:50 PM

01/14/2014 6:51 PM

Sacramento is expected to reach a high of 70 degrees Wednesday, with no rain in sight.

Those dry conditions, along with a forecast for gusty winds, led the National Weather Service on Tuesday to issue a red flag fire warning for the west slope of the Sierra and the coastal mountains.

Sacramento Executive Airport reported a high of 66 degrees Tuesday, breaking the previous record for the date of 65 degrees set in 2012. A high of 66 degrees also was reported for downtown Sacramento, but that was two degrees below the record for the date set last year, said Karl Swanberg, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

Daytime temperatures in the Sacramento area will remain much the same the rest of the week with highs Thursday through Sunday expected to be in the mid- to upper-60s.

While the region is experiencing record-breaking highs, it also is seeing overnight lows at or below normal for this time of year. Lows are expected to be in the upper 30s in Sacramento with a chance for patchy frost in some of the outlying areas, Swanberg said.

“As for the chance of rain,” he said, “all I see are zeros.”

The red flag warning for mountain areas was issued with a forecast for gusty winds and low relative humidity, which combined with the prolonged dry period, contribute to increased fire danger. The warning is in effect through 9 a.m. Friday for the west slope of the Sierra, including the Tahoe and Eldorado National Forests, and until 8 a.m. Thursday for the coastal mountains, Swanberg said.

Cathy Locke

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