Cold air moves into the Plains and Midwest, above average temps in California and Southwest
Dry conditions and gusty winds will keep the fire threat high for much of California into the Rockies and Great Basin
A blast of cold air is moving into the Plains and Midwest on Thursday and then across the East Coast on Friday and Saturday with temperatures plunging 20-30 degrees compared to what they were Wednesday. The cold front associated with this cold airmass will also produce rain and snow showers for the Northern Plains.
That is a sharp contrast to the above-average temperatures for California and the Southwest. The heat along with the dry conditions and gusty winds will keep the fire threat high for much of California into the Rockies and Great Basin.
DEVASTATING WILDFIRE 'ANATOMY' EXPLAINED
A Red Flag Warning was issued Wednesday for parts of Northern California as critical fire weather conditions continue. Red Flag Warnings alert fire departments of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to wildfire activity.
Cal Fire notes that a Red Flag Warning is the highest level of alert.
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More than 8,500 wildfires have burned more than 6,400 square miles in California since the start of the year, most since mid-August. Thirty-one people have died, and more than 9,200 buildings have been destroyed.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.