Santa Ana winds: What are they?


Forest fires burn out of control in Southern California

150,000 people have been forced from their homes.

Several forest fires were raging in Southern California on Wednesday.

Firefighters were working against three brands in Southern California, when a new eruption was in Bel Air, Los Angeles, which has been called the “Skirball Fire.”

A tweet from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti indicated that the 405 was closed in the Sepulveda Pass, and that mandatory evacuations were in effect.

405 is closed in the Sepulveda Pass by #SkirballFire east of the highway.

220 Firefighters on scene.

Mandatory evacuation for the area East of the 405 Fwy, South of Mulholland Dr., West of Roscomare Rd. And north of Sunset Blvd.

Updates →

— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) December 6, 2017

Santa Ana winds are linked to the spread of dangerous forest fires — here’s what you need to know about the weather phenomenon.

What are the Santa Ana winds?

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

These winds are generated by cold air descending on a Western area called the Great Basin. The air flows from the area of high pressure spills through mountain ranges and in Southern California metropolitan areas.

Santa Ana winds push back the normal moist and cool influence of the Pacific Ocean, and the heat of compression and speed.

Earlier this autumn, a wind-driven wildfire in Southern California, called the Canyon 2 fire burned more than 9,200 acres, the Orange County Register reported.


What should I know about the wind?

“A comprehensive moderate to strong Santa Ana wind event will continue across much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties through at least Friday,” the National Weather Service, said Wednesday. “The wind today will be in general weaker than yesterday, 10 to 20 km / h, but still gusty and strong enough to make a fire.”

Wind can gain strength Wednesday night and Thursday, the service added.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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