Santa Ana winds facts for kids
The Santa Ana winds are a kind of wind that happen in Southern California and northern Baja California. They are strong and extremely dry. They start in the mountains and blow towards the Pacific Ocean. They often happen during the autumn and winter. They cause wildfires to become worse.
These winds are a kind of katabatic wind, which means they come from the mountains.
Many people think the name "Santa Ana" comes from the Santa Ana Canyon in Orange County, California.
Images for kids
The Santa Ana winds sweep down from the deserts and across coastal Southern California, pushing dust and smoke from wildfires far out over the Pacific Ocean. Los Angeles is in the upper left of this image, while San Diego is near the center.
This map illustration shows a characteristic high-pressure area centered over the Great Basin, with the clockwise anticyclone wind flow out of the high-pressure center giving rise to a Santa Ana wind event as the airmass flows through the passes and canyons of Southern California, manifesting as a dry northeasterly wind.
QuikSCAT image showing the speed of the Santa Ana winds (m/s)
The Thomas Fire and two other fires burn out of control near Ventura in December 2017, with a strong Santa Ana wind driving the flames toward the coast and blowing the smoke offshore.