Mar 21, 200603:43 PMThe Life
Santa Ana winds
Mar 21, 2006 - 03:43 PMThey're blowing.
You can feel them swirling.
As they ebb and flow, the air becomes almost still, then quickly picks up velocity. To be called Santa Anas, these warm, dry winds must have a top speed of 25mph or more... but they often gust to 50 or 60.
October to March is the normal Santa Ana season. They blow from the east or northeast, below our passes and canyons. Although different meteorological scenarios may contribute to a Santa Ana event, the usual pattern involves a high pressure area sitting over the plateau between the Sierras and the Rockies. As the wind whips over the mountains and squeezes down through the canyons, it becomes compressed and warm. Warming air loses its humidity, sometimes dropping to less than 10%. So the inside of your nose becomes like parchment. According to most accounts, the winds are named for the Santa Ana River valley where they originate.
The Pacific Northwest has their Chinook wind, and the Diablo blows through northern California, but we have our Santa Anas.
Rollin' down the Imperial Highway
With a big nasty redhead at my side
Santa Ana winds blowin' hot from the north
And we was born to ride
--I Love L.A. by Randy Newman