The Santa Ana winds are blowing.

Anyone who has lived in Southern California know what that means. High pressure over Nevada, strong offshore winds, adiabatic heating, and the wind funneling through canyons and mountain passes speeds up as it’s squeezed through.

It was starting to kick up when I left for the CAF hanger this morning.

Out in Camarillo, near the ocean, near the edge of a large plain to the south of many of those aforementioned canyons and mountain passes, it was blowing a steady 20 to 30 knots, occasionally getting up to 35 knots steady, with gusts on and off to 50+ knots. Many of us there (most of us pilots) thought that might be a low value for some of the more severe gusts.

Planes have a tendency to blow about in such winds, but we made it through the day with just a couple of worrisome moments, no actual emergencies or damage. But it kept everyone hopping. The rides we had scheduled for the day got re-scheduled, obviously. Gusts of 20 to 25 knots are “exciting” in a small plane. Gusts of 40 to 50 knots can be downright dangerous. Let the business jets and commercial airliners have the skies today.

It also turns the huge hangers (like where I spend most of my days) into drums as the thin metal siding rattles and vibrates. Even more attention-getting, when you get a gust that REALLY howls past, some of the little holes in the structure (around doors, where wiring and pipes enter the building, etc) can act like wind instruments, giving off some truly ungodly howls.

Jessie loves it when it blows like this.

We suspect that it’s because there are so many new and interesting smells coming from far away. To us it just means allergies and sandpaper dry skin — to her it’s a cornucopia of sensations that we can’t even imagine. Her nose twitches a mile a minute, her head swivels to listen to the wind in the trees and catch the next exotic scent. For a few minutes, she’s a puppy again and the whole world is hers to explore.

The Santa Ana winds are blowing.

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Filed under CAF, Dogs, Los Angeles, Weather

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