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Posted by dr strangelove on February 08, 2004 at 18:26:51:

In Reply to: Try googling both posted by Chuck Tribolet on February 08, 2004 at 18:06:09:

That’s “Santana Wind” Gringo!

When my family moved to So. California in the 1960s, we were soon introduced to the Santanas — no not Carlos Santana and his band. The Santanas are the hot winds that blow into So. California from the mountains and cause incredible heatwaves and firestorms.

The word “santana” is Spanish for “devil” — which is appropriate because these winds are like something out of Hell! You can just imagine the early Spanish settlers encountering these winds for the first time. The heat and fire combined with their inability to fight them must have made them think that they were suffering Satan’s rath.

Sometime during the 1970s, TV reporters (mostly folks imported from other parts of the country) started calling them “Santa Ana Winds” — I remember that I was very disturbed by this error. What in the heck did Saint Ann have to do with these winds? (Saint Ann is the mother of the Virgin Mary — Jesus’ grandmother.)

Then, some nitwit just made up a story to justify the mistake — saying that the winds were called “Santa Ana Winds” or “Santa Ana’s” because they originate in the Santa Ana Canyon in Orange County. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! #$!&!

The Santana Winds blow through all of the gaps and low canyons along the San Gabriel Mountains. If based on geographic origin, the winds would be called the San Gabriel Winds — but that’s not the case.

I have also heard a story that the term “Santa Ana Wind” was coined in the early 1900s by an AP reporter who simply heard the word and, because he was familiar with the city of Santa Ana, made a mistake and spelled it wrong in a story. While non-native So. Californians have probably made this spelling error frequently over the past few decades, it doesn’t mean they were correct.

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