Santa Ana winds: What are they?

Santa Ana winds: What are they?

- in Science

A wind-driven wildfire in Southern California, has grown to 7,500 acres, Anaheim Fire and Rescue tweeted Tuesday.

Cal Fire announced that the blaze, dubbed Canyon Fire 2, was just 5 percent contained.

The fire broke out during the fall’s first major blast of Santa Ana winds. Here’s what you should know about the winds.

What are the Santa Ana winds?

The wind is “a weather condition in which strong, hot, dust-bearing winds descend to the Pacific Coast around Los Angeles from inland desert regions,” the National Weather Service glossary explains.

These winds are generated by cold air descending on a Western area called the Great Basin. Air flowing from that region of high pressure spills through mountain ranges and down into Southern California metropolitan areas.

Santa Ana winds push back the normal moist and cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean, and gain warmth from compression and speed. Santa Ana winds have also been linked to the spread of dangerous wildfires.

What else should I know about the winds? 

Santa Ana winds are expected to diminish locally on Tuesday, but red flag warnings are in effect for several areas in Southwest California, the National Weather Service said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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