104-mph gusts recorded as Santa Ana winds wreak havoc across Southern California
Winds gusting as much as 110 mph were recorded as Santa Ana winds wreaked havoc across Southern California in some of the most destructive storms this year.
And, by Wednesday morning, a band of warm air had already swept into the Los Angeles area with very little rain.
“It’s the worst possible scenario,” said meteorologist Dave Smith at the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
“It’s all about the wind,” Smith said. “I would estimate that the wind is in excess of 110 miles per hour. And this wind is on a path that you won’t want to be on.”
Wind gusts as high as 110 mph are not uncommon in Southern California during the fall, Smith said. But in the last four days, the last time the average gust of wind was this high was Sept. 6, 2013, when winds gusted as far as 115 mph in El Segundo.
In Santa Ana’s recent history, there have been 24 days that its winds reached a speed of at least 110 mph. In the past eight years, the number of days with at least 110 mph winds has increased from 36 to 44.
The last time winds gusted this high was Sept. 6, 2013, when winds gusted as far as 115 mph.
Santa Ana wind speeds of between 90 and 100 mph were recorded in late August in the city of Riverside, with the average gust being 102 mph. And in September 2015, Santa Ana’s winds reached 104 mph in San Bernardino County.
But the greatest gust recorded Wednesday morning was 110 mph in Oxnard, the city of about 22,000 residents and just north of Ventura.
“We’ve had a lot of rain because the area has been in the grip of one of the most violent storms this year,” Smith said. “We could see a major flood threat. The county is trying to get people out of their homes.”
He said there isn’t a lot of wind-related data to give the most accurate forecast model.
But Smith said there were other factors at work Wednesday.
“We’ve had a very dry winter here in Southern California