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With The Wind Comes Crackers

October 8, 2007

The Santa Ana Winds:

The Santa Ana winds (or Santana winds) are warm, dry winds that characteristically appear in Southern California weather during autumn and early winter.

Santa Anas are a type of föhn wind, the result of air pressure buildup in the high-altitude Great Basin between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. This air mass spills out of the Great Basin and is pulled by gravity into the surrounding lowlands. The air circulates clockwise around the high pressure area bringing winds from the east and northeast to Southern California (the reverse of the westerly winds characteristic of the latitude).

It is often said that the air is heated and dried as it passes through the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, but according to meteorologists this is a popular misconception. The Santa Ana winds usually form during autumn and early spring when the desert is relatively cold, although they may form at virtually any time of year. The air heats up due to adiabatic heating while being compressed during its descent. While the air has already been dried by orographic lift prior to reaching the Great Basin, the relative humidity of the air declines rapidly as it descends and warms in its final stages as it passes over the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges.

Ugh, the dry wind mixed with dry crackers is not a very appealing thought, nonetheless, it is not what I had in mind. Each year when the Autumn Santa Ana winds come I think of how life must have been for the Chumash living in the area. Imagine all the folktales that were told about the winds. The wind’s pristine reliability does make for ripe folklore, that’s for sure. For me, it means the time has come to order my good ole English crackers. I cannot wait. Regardless of how corny, feeble, tired, or out and out predictable Christmas crackers are, I will have them here by Jove, if I have to put the winds in a sack (didn’t go over so well for slumbering Odysseus). I love meta-ing prose!

Anyway, I ordered a dozen baby.

One Comment
  1. Rent Party permalink
    October 8, 2007 8:46 pm

    I love the Santa Anas. In this I am unusual. But I think they have a marvelous energy.

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