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Gusty winds could worsen fires in next round of thunder, lightning storms

The latest round of thunderstorms and dry lightning headed for the region will be a weaker version of last weekend’s intense electrical displays, but could fan wildfires with gusty winds, forecasters said Saturday.

The National Weather Service on Saturday issued a red flag warning for critical fire weather conditions around the Bay Area, effective from 5 a.m. Sunday to 5 p.m. Monday.

Forecaster Drew Peterson said:

“This will be a weaker overall event. What we experienced last weekend was extremely rare for the region.”

The Bay Area is now ringed by wildfires and the weather service’s primary concern is for erratic gusts that could move those blazes in unexpected ways, Peterson said.

The strongest thunderstorms are expected to develop Sunday night through Monday morning.

The storms aren’t expected to bring enough moisture to help with preventing fires or battle existing blazes, forecasters said.

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