Devil Winds

A cold front passed through Monday and high pressure settled into the Great Basin, bringing us the dreaded “Devil Winds” of the Santa Anas.  This condition pushes dry desert air through mountain passes and canyons and out to sea, and can be very cold or hot depending on the desert weather at the time.  Today is about 58 degrees, cold to us.  The winds here are averaging 40 mph, but can gust to 60.  Out in exposed portions of Ontario, it can top 90 mph and regularly flips trailers and knocks out power lines.

As the air rises to go over the mountains it cools dramatically, making for excellent snow-making weather for the ski resorts; they can dial back the moisture on the snow guns until it is a dry, fluffy powder rivaling the best Utah has to offer.  Being a non-skier myself, all we get out of it is static electricity that annoys the fluffy cat and all the potted trees on the front porch knocked over.

We had a bit of rain and snow last week and so we’re in OK shap fire-wise; some dry years winds like this can push forest fires with unstoppable fury that consumes everything in its path.  But today we just look for skin lotion to make up for the 4% humidity.


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