Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Red Wind

Just another neat picture from NASA's Earth Observatory: Santa Ana winds pushing wildfires out of control near Los Angeles. Jeopardy trivia for me, but hugely important to Southern California.

Interesting because I'd always been told the Santa Ana, and similar winds like the Chinook, came from warm desert air. It turns out to be the reverse; cold desert air heating by compression. That makes more sense, actually, since they occur during the coldest parts of the year.

Also interesting: the article has some of my favorite Raymond Chandler: "those hot dry [winds] that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen."

I remember the lines, but for the life of me can't recall the plot of the story.

NASA images created by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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