Santa Ana Winds ~ Southern California

So we in Southern California are experiencing Santa Ana Winds or Santana Winds. Besides heavy hot winds there are several fires, downed trees, power outages, etc. Usually Palm fronds hang down uniformly on either side of the trunk. This was the best I could shoot from the comfort of my car to show that the wind was blowing very strongly.


Here’s a more technical description of what Santa Ana Winds are. (Good info for homeschoolers!)

The Santa Ana is a dry, sometimes hot and dusty, wind in southwestern California that blows westward through the canyons toward the coastal areas. Santa Anas are a seasonal phenomena, occurring mostly during fall, winter and spring, tending to peak in December. The wind usually has its origin when cold air spills southward into the Great Basin, trapped between the Rockies to the east and the Sierras and Southern California coastal range to the west. This cold air mass is characterized by unusually high pressure near the land surface. Winds are driven into Southern California when the pressure of this interior air mass exceeds the pressure along the California coast. Winds are often strongest in mountain passes which are ducts for the continental air flow. Because the air over the higher elevations of the Great Basin sinks as it flows into coastal California, it is heated adiabatically, and temperatures are often quite warm. This continental air mass is invariably dry, so humidities in Santa Anas are low, often less than 25% relative humidity. Santa Anas have occurred irregularly over the time period since about 1950 when we have collected detailed wind and humidity observations, with some months experiencing Santa Ana conditions 30% the time, and other months less than 5% of the time.

Santa Anas have several colorful nicknames including “devil’s breath”.

What atmospheric ciruclation features are associated with Santa Ana events?

Any low-pressure system in the Pacific off the California coast may change the stability of the Great Basin High. The Great Basin High winds then turn southward along the eastern slopes of the Sierras. The low-pressure system over the Pacific literally sucks the winds through the mountain passes of Southern California toward the coastal areas.

 [there’s a new word for me, adiabatically]

This next part is not technical or educational just informational and personal…

When Dear and I got home from church on Sunday we found we had lost power in our condo. So what do you do when the weather is hot and windy and your power goes out? Why you find the closest eating establishment that has power and eat out! J.J. Brewsky’s was open and ready and willing to feed us.

Dear ordered the Steak and Guinness Pie with what else but a Guinness.

I had the Carnitas cooked in Arrogant ******* Ale,  a seasoned shredded pork, egg, and pico de gallo dish (very spicey and yummy) with an Arrogant ******* Ale of course. And now because when the power goes out it makes us a bit giddy and creative and desperate, we have a challenge for you.


Which of these heads is the Guinness? The one on the left or the one on the right?

UPDATE AND ANSWER!!: Because I have the patience of a Hare in the Long Patrol (Brian Jacques Redwall Readers will understand) I can’t wait any longer to tell you that Katie, Beth, Mz. Ellen, Southernbell, and Crystal are correct. The Guinness is on the left! Thanks for taking a stab at the quiz everyone. They were two similar heads so it wasn’t easy. And Katie you certainly do make your father proud because you listen to him and remember what he says….

update #2: Dear says, “The head on Guinness is famously smooth and creamy, with fine bubbles (right on Katie!) because the gas is not carbon dioxide but rather nitrogen which creates smaller, more persistent bubbles. Until somewhat recently Guinness was the only brew to utilize nitrogen. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery some other brewers have used nitrogen to replicate the creamy head.”

Leave your answer in the comments…

And here’s a photo of me flapping in the wind. I think the wind widened my hips! I really don’t think it’s all that good food and ale that I just had, yep I’m blaming it on the wind….


Now later in the day we are seeing the effects of the Malibu and other fires in our skies outside our condo. The orange cloudy glow that blocks the sun is a very telling sign of the fires and winds.

Photobucket has blacked out all my photos on my blog posts and is holding them hostage. As Time allows I will try to restore some of my posts with new photos.



About Ellenhttp://I am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

19 thoughts on “Santa Ana Winds ~ Southern California

  1. ahh…but it is Guinness or Guinness Extra Stout (that makes a difference, you know)…and did it come out of a bottle, a tap, a keg or a “pub can”?

    Either way…I don’t think I can answer unless I know what the other one is.

    If the other one is something good, like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, then the one of the left is the Guinness.

    If the other one is a pale ale or wheat (or oatmeal) beverage, then the one on the right is the Guinness.

    Either way…it’s all good…


    Hi Mz. Ellen, Sounds like we need to meet at a pub in the future! 🙂 The Guinness was on draught as was the other dark ale… I’ll be giving the answer as to which is the Guinness a little later. Blessings…

  2. Yo weather lady! You are killing me with this post.

    I would go with the second one for the quiz and now I am hungry! I hate beer so that leaves me craving a nice glass of Pinot Noir!

    Lana, Stay tuned the weather lady gives updates as needed! 🙂 When the moneychangers leave your domain we should meet for a celebration!

  3. I would haveno idea about the beer —– but I’m lovin’ the picture with no BANGS!!!!!!

    M.Lou, Hairdo by wind, you gotta love it!

  4. Ellen, I’ve been watching the coverage of the winds and fires down your way. I wondered if it was affecting any of my friends and now I know. We have rain . ..again . .today and I wish I could send a bit your way.

    Lovella, Any friend down here will mostly be affected by the strong smell of smoke and the ash being blown all over. I’m keeping my doors and windows closed tight and thankfully we have air-conditioning. Blessings.

  5. Wouldn’t have a clue about beer but I’ll guess it’s the one on the right.

    The fires are scarey especially when wind is whipping them. We get very strong winds where I live. All through the year. They are usually warm and in the winter can drop the cold temperature up to 20 degrees within 15 – 20 minutes making any snow into a wet slushy mess in no time flat. The trees around here sometimes have a permanant eastward lean to them if they haven’t been staked when young.

    Hi Susanne, I’ve seen that interesting tree lean on trees a lot through canyons etc. I’ll post the Guinness answer later. have a great week…

  6. They are very similar looking…usually I’d go by bubble size cuz Guinness has the tiiiiny little nitrogen bubbles………Left. Final answer.

    I remember Daddy explaining why the head on a Guinness was different when we were in England, so I hope I get it right and do him proud. 😛

    Katie dear, I’ll post the answer later. Oh and whether or not you are right you make your father and I very proud…

  7. My stab in the dark is that the one on the left is the Guniess (a fav of my hubby and I, among other dark ales!)

    Great post, I learned a lot about the Santa Ana winds!

    Hi Crystal, Glad you enjoyed the info! Cheers….

  8. Pingback: The Irvine Fire « Above the Clouds

  9. Having lived in Southern Cal. for 30 years, I remember those winds and the dust blowing too. I recall standing on a school playground with my back to the wind! Don’t miss it at all!

  10. How very informative you are today! Wow! Thanks for the learning!
    Now, I’ve never had ale…so glad that you went ahead and told which was which!
    Have a great DAY!!!

  11. Heard about the fires and I’m glad you’re ok.

    You gave away the answer but I was leaning toward the left anyway – My son spent a year in Ireland and Guiness was a favourite.

  12. this is beer right???

    (sorry, I’m not a drinker of anything stronger than Dr. Pepper…but thought it was a fun game…too bad I came too late and say the answer.)

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