Santa Ana Winds are confined to Southern California. Although this region sometimes experiences similar offshore winds, such winds are neither as warm nor as arid as those that come from the Mojave Desert. This article is three years old, so the fires mentioned are old news.
They have been a part of life in Southern California longer than anyone can remember. The Santa Ana Winds have been blowing down from the high deserts to coastal plains long before people arrived in the region. They are arid and usually warm before they leave the Great Basin and Mojave Desert, and they get even warmer as the flow downhill through mountain passes. That is what makes them so dangerous during fire season. Wind alone accelerates wildfire. Warming arid wind desiccates fuel, making it more combustible before wildfire arrives.
Santa Ana Winds are so regular that they affect how tall trees grow within the regions of the mountain passes where Santa Ana Winds move the fastest. Tall Mexican fan palms that grew up straight where sheltered from wind near the ground innately lean with the prevailing wind as they grow up and become more exposed. Those closer to the…
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