- What is it about California that makes wildfires so catastrophic? There are four key ingredients.
- The (Changing) Climate, People, Fire Suppression and The Santa Ana Winds.
About the Santa Ana Winds
- The Santa Ana winds are strong, extremely dry downslope winds that originate inland and affect coastal Southern California and northern Baja California.
- They originate from cool, dry high-pressure air masses in the Great Basin.
- Santa Ana winds are known for the hot, dry weather that they bring in autumn(often the hottest of the year), but they can also arise at other times of the year.
- They often bring the lowest relative humidities of the year to coastal Southern California. These low humidities, combined with the warm, compressionally-heated air mass, plus high wind speeds, create critical fire weather conditions.
- Also sometimes called “devil winds“, the Santa Anas are infamous for fanning regional wildfires.