Why Do They Call Them the Santa Ana Winds?

Devil winds with a saintly name

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Q: Why do they call them “the Santa Ana winds”?

A: The gusts pick up speed as they blow through mountain passes and ravines, and they’re especially fierce as they blast through Santa Ana Canyon. The same howlers sweep through Malibu and the Cajon Pass, but those areas weren’t as populated in the 1870s when newspapers coined the name.

“I don’t think papers or the locals realized how far out they went,” says meteorologist Eric Boldt.

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