2.1 The Santa Ana Winds in San Diego County

Monday, 18 August 2014: 10:30 AM
Kon Tiki Ballroom (Catamaran Resort Hotel)
Robert G. Fovell, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; and Y. Cao

The infamous Santa Ana wind is an offshore flow that visits Southern California periodically during the winter half of the year, typically between September through May. The winds can be locally gusty, particularly in the complex terrain of San Diego county, where the winds have characteristics of downslope windstorms. These winds can cause and/or rapidly spread wildfires, the threat of which is particularly acute during the autumn season before the onset of winter rains. San Diego's largest fires, including the Cedar Fire of 2003 and Witch Fire of 2007, occurred during Santa Ana wind events.

This talk will introduce the meteorology and geography of Southern California, describe the conditions that produce offshore winds, and discuss the nature of these winds in the San Diego mountains, utilizing Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations and observations from the very dense San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) mesonet.

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