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National Weather Service: North Bay mountains could see damaging winds

The National Weather Service on Sunday upgraded its wind advisory to a high wind warning for higher elevations, alerting residents across a vast swath of Central and Northern California to the potential for ferocious, damaging winds starting Monday afternoon.

The warning, which takes effect at 4 p.m. Monday and applies to areas at elevations 1,000 feet or higher, cites the potential for winds reaching 60-70 mph at a variety of locations from Big Sur to the North Bay mountains. Winds were already expected to pick up at all elevations Sunday night, leading the National Weather Service to issue a rare winter fire weather watch for large swaths of Central California.

“The wind will be just as strong up in the North Bay as what we’re expecting in Central California,” said Duane Dykema, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “Because there’s been more rain in the North Bay, the fire danger isn’t as high.”

Dykema said the Santa Cruz mountains mark the northernmost area of concern in terms of fire danger, but he urged resident caution due to expected high winds in the North Bay.

The shift to a high wind warning coincides with a streak of temperature records set Sunday, including in Santa Rosa, where the high reached 74, breaking the previous mark of 71 set in 1991. San Francisco, where the mercury also reached 74, topped its previous high, a 73-degree day in 1991, Napa tied its Jan. 17 high of 72 last reached in 1920.

Dykema said more records could fall Monday, with temperatures expected to linger in the low- to mid-70s at the start of the week.

You can reach Staff Writer Tyler Silvy at 707-526-8667 or tyler.silvy@pressdemocrat.com.

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