Santa Ana Winds Over Los Angeles
High-resolution ocean surface wind data from NASA's Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat) illustrate the strength of Santa Ana winds that pounded Southern California this week, causing damage and spreading brush fires. The colored arrows represent various ranges of wind speed, which were still well in excess of 30 knots (34 miles per hour), even after reaching the ocean and weakening. Santa Ana winds are offshore and down-slope winds unique to Southern California that are usually channeled through mountain gaps. These Santa Ana winds extend more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) offshore before changing direction to flow along the shore.
Credit: NASA/JPL<< RETURN TO GALLERY