December 6, 2017

"The fire, which was entirely uncontained, was being whipped by unpredictable Santa Ana winds, which blow in from the California desert."

"Wind gusts were forecast to top out at 70 miles per hour (115 km per hour) on Wednesday and remain strong through the week."

47 comments:

Tyrone Slothrop said...

National Weather Service sez:

"Today Sunny, with a high near 76. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tonight Clear, with a low around 51. Breezy, with a north northeast wind around 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph."

mockturtle said...

Fires were believed to have been started by transformers blown out by the wind.

Owen said...

Where is the obligatory reference to climate change?

MikeR said...

Jeepers: https://twitter.com/NWSLosAngeles/status/938451397682614272
0% contained.

exiledonmainstreet said...

It's Trump's fault, I'm sure.

Greg Hlatky said...


Can't blame this on Republicans. They all left California after Pelosi told them they had to go.

Michael K said...

The Santa Anas are a characteristic of California weather. Winter storms hit the Utah/four corners area and highs, as some winter storms are, rotate clockwise.

The high pressure of the storm and the clockwise rotation cause winds from the northeast to come down the slot into southern California. Traditionally, the worst of the winds pass down the Santa Ana river canyon, hence the name.

As they descend, they pick up velocity and heat up. By the time they reach California, they are often up to 100 degrees and 50 miles per hour. They are also very, very dry as heating removes the humidity.

They happen about once a month in winter. Normally fire season is over by now but it has been very dry. It may be due to the la Nina, the opposite weather pattern to el Nino, both are named for Christmas when they form.

This has already been a bad fire season because last winter was wet with lots of growth of vegetation.

I talked to my son who is a fireman and fortunately, he is not involved.

Owen said...

Why the narrow emphasis on peak wind speed? Root Mean Square (power) numbers would be more useful to us in understanding the total threat picture of at least another key dimension. See also "accumulated cyclonic energy" as a measure of destructive energy available in a region over time.

Assrat said...

Sorry to hear that. I saw a few wildfires from a safe distance when I lived near LA. Very much not something I miss.

LarsPorsena said...

California delenda est?

Howard said...

It'a actually Santana winds (Satan, the devil, from the hot place) but so many losers from Chicago moved into So Cal, they thought they people were calling them Santa Ana winds. Up here in the Gay Area, they are called Diablo winds, basically offshore flow.

My buddies new house was scorched while 5/9 houses on his street burned to the ground.

Owen: Okay, you know math (pat on head, here have a cookie, good boy). Do you really need to ask? Newsies want the biggest number because clicks and eyeballs. Also, the gusts are important because the peak wind speeds carry the most mass of burning embers, e.g. drive the firestorm, while the rootmeansquaredaccumulatedcycloneenergy factor just keeps what is burning already burning. Therefore, by reporting the big number, people realize that the fire can spread very very quickly like the Ventura and Santa Rosa fires.

Bill said...

"Joan Didion, you have a call on line one . . . Joan Didion . . ."

Unknown said...

Some would say that God is punishing California, perhaps because of all their sinning and abuse, etc, and we should listen to the messengers of God and repent. Usually these people are called "Bible Thumpers" and "Scientific Illiterates" by our betters on the left. These leftists mock the very idea of God, and in particular any God using the weather as some form of divine retribution.

Nonsense, says them. It's not God punishing leftist pervasions!

What's really happening is a vengeful planet causing this as a direct result of human climate emissions, and only if humanity (in particular White Christian Americans) repents by cutting their energy and changing all their behaviors and paying indulgences --err, I mean carbon taxes -- and listen to our high scientists of climate science that cannot be challenged, heretic, can the wrath of Climate change be appeased. This is the Scientific view, and if you disagree you are anti-science!

The practical difference between this is the name of the deity and the nature of the sin, is it not?

--Vance

buwaya said...

Daughter in LA was snap chatting pictures of the 405 fire.

John Scott said...

The only thing unpredictable about Santa Ana winds is the gust factor. Santa Anas flow from the NE. They are the strongest in canyons that orient NE to SW. I have seen it blow fifty in the Santa Clara river basin, which is near the Thomas fire, and be dead calm in Ojai and Santa Barbara.

Crimso said...

Here come those Santa Ana winds again...

exiledonmainstreet said...

Howard said...
It'a actually Santana winds (Satan, the devil, from the hot place) but so many losers from Chicago moved into So Cal, they thought they people were calling them Santa Ana winds"

I thought it was because Carlos Santana lobbied for a name change.

Michael K said...

Howard is the expert. As usual.

Howard needs to correct Wikipedia.

Howard get to work with your bullshit.

Rusty said...

Here ya go Howard.
"Etymology[edit]

The most well-accepted explanation for the name Santa Ana winds is that it is derived from the Santa Ana Canyon in Orange County, one of the many locations the winds blow intensely.[1][4] Newspaper references to the name Santa Ana winds date as far back as 1886. By 1893, controversy had broken out over whether this name was a corruption of the Spanish term Santana (a running together of the words Santa Ana), or the different term Satanás, meaning Satan. However, newspaper mention of the term "Satanás" in reference to the winds did not begin appearing until more than 60 years later. A possible explanation is that the spoken Spanish language merges two identical vowels in elision, when one ends a word and the other begins the next word. Thus the Spanish pronunciation of the phrase "Santa Ana" sounds like "Santana."

Another attempt at explanation of the name claims that it derives from a Native American term for "devil wind" that was altered by the Spanish into the form "Satanás" (meaning Satan), and then later corrupted into "Santa Ana." However, an authority on Native American language claims this term "Santana" never existed in that tongue.[4]

A third explanation places the origin of the term Santa Ana winds with an Associated Press correspondent stationed in Santa Ana in 1902, who documented the name "Santa Ana winds," or possibly mistook the term "Santana" or "Satanás" for "Santa Ana." [23]

Another derivation favored by the late well-known KABC television meteorologist, Dr. George Fischbeck, cited the etymology of the Santana winds as coming from the early Mexicano/Angeleno: "Caliente aliento de Satanás" or "hot breath of Satan." This is likely a false etymology or folk etymology, though."
Via Wikipedia

Bad Lieutenant said...

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”


― Raymond Chandler, Red Wind

Marc Puckett said...

God in His Justice may not be punishing California for her many sins but He certainly has protected His own.

Mike Smith said...

Here are some additional details: http://www.mikesmithenterprisesblog.com/2017/12/worsening-forecast-for-los-angeles-san.html

rhhardin said...

Ecologically speaking, it's a boon for ragweed, horseweed, fireweed and crab grass.

Then look for goldenrods and asters, followed by maple and birch.

Earnest Prole said...

It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch.

Exactly -- will curl your hair even if you don't have any.

FullMoon said...

Short video:

Morning Commute through SoCal Fire

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

They closed to the 405 today, which is major deal (remember Car-mageddon? That was one night). Drivers were more befuddled than angry. Schools are closed, athletic events canceled, ashes thick on the ground. Everyone knows someone who fled or lost their house. The wind isn't bad, but is predicted to get worse tonight.

And yet, few deaths, and both our NFL teams are good so life continues.

John Scott said...

The funny thing about "desert winds" is that the desert is pretty calm during a Santa Ana event. Think of the Mojave as a big lake that has a number of rivers draining out from it. The air pools in desert and then rushes out through the canyons. But because of the position of the high pressure system it flows out to the SW.

Hagar said...

AA, your Amazon button seems to be gone?

Michael K said...

" The wind isn't bad, but is predicted to get worse tonight. "

It is often worse at night as it is flowing downhill from Utah and the wind in the storm cell is worse in the day. It takes 12 hours to get to California.

L. Ron Halfelven said...

Those who forget the last Santayana wind are destined to repeat it.

Inga said...

Yikes. My oldest daughter will be moving to Southern California very soon. She was living there once before when there were several large fires around Camp Pendleton.

MadisonMan said...

That morning commute video: Ay Carumba! That would be hard to drive through for me.

Good luck to SoCal denizens overnight.

wildswan said...

These fires have a strange spotty effect I find hard to understand from Wisconsin. My relatives got ready to evacuate seven children from 10:45 pm on into the night but finally were OK. Four blocks away their friends house was destroyed.

And why do new ones start? How do any of these fires start?

The Godfather said...

@ Bad Lieutenant: Great Raymond Chandler quote. I haven't read any Chandler -- any recommendation for where to start? I have a long plane flight coming up.

MadisonMan said...

How do any of these fires start?

Strong winds cause Power Lines to go down, or to touch and shower sparks. That's all it takes.

Also -- some humans like to start them.

Sam L. said...

Santa Ana Winds, sometimes called Riverside's Revenge.

GF, pick out any 2 or 3. The Big Sleep; The Long Goodbye; Farewell, My Lovely; The High Window; The Lady In The Lake; The Little Sister; The Simple Art Of Murder; Playback.

reader said...

Great. Now we’re having earthquakes.

reader said...

Seemed small.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Eh, Don Corleone:

http://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/

Scroll down to chandlerr-*

That should see you through a flight or two.


So leave the gun. Take the downloads.

rcocean said...

The Chandler quote seems to have hit a nerve with a lot of people.

"Lou Grant" even quoted it in the Mary Tyler Moore Show as an example of great writing.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I think the spookiness of the fires might be due to the fact that the strong winds are blowing embers in unpredictable ways.Some will die before they land; others will change course with a slight wind shift. it also depends where they land.

I hope they will be able to get the fires under control soon and that people stay safe.

exiledonmainstreet said...

stupid autocorrect! I meant to say "spottiness," not "spookiness" although the fires are pretty spooky too. A woman I know has a daughter attending Thomas Acquinas College- glad to see its safe.

The Godfather said...

Thanks for the Chandler suggestions Sam L. and Bad Lieutenant. BTW, BL, I'm not THAT KIND of Godfather. More the spiritual mentor kind. Perhaps you can't tell that from my comments here, but I thought my icon would be a tell.

openidname said...

Inga: No need to be worried, as long as your daughter will be in the city or the suburbs and not up in the hills. The fire got within four miles of my daughter's home in highly urban West L.A., but she was never in any danger. The real problem is not that California has chronic wildfires; it's that ecohippies insist on building their beautiful rustic homes in fire areas.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Enjoy, GF. Safe trip!

I rarely look at the avatars. Amusingly enough, though, I thought you were Jewish. Must have you confused with someone else ;)

George Leroy Tirebiter said...

Re: Fires were believed to have been started by transformers blown out by the wind.

Is this a repeat of the Sonoma county fires where PG&E neglected to managage/trim trees/vegetation around power lines/transformers? Massive lawsuits coming. In So Cal it's Edision & possibly PG&E in some areas. Govt protected monopoly neglect.

Bad Lieutenant said...

"It's all right, Betty. I'm no use to you. Forget I tried to be."
"Nice words, but only because you think I'll pay you more to be of use to me. You're just another of them. I don't want your damn cigarette either." She threw it out of the window. "Take me back to the hotel."
I got out of the car and stamped on the cigarette. "You don't do that in the California hills," I told her. "Not even out of season."

Raymond Chandler, Playback