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Santa Ana Winds Cutting Off Power For Thousands

December 2, 2011, 6:10 PM by Ben Cathey

Santa Ana Winds Cutting Off Power For Thousands
KELOLAND is no stranger to strong winds. by now, we're used to them year round.

The west coast gets a seasonal wind, and Friday's Santa Ana blast was among the strongest in decades.

Powerful winds are known for knocking down trees and power lines, and that's exactly what people are cleaning up in California.

Santa Ana winds, often gusting at hurricane force, cut through mountain passes and cut off the lights for hundreds of thousands.

In Utah, gusts overturned at least ten semi trucks just north of Salt Lake City. It shattered window after window, sending shards of glass into school busses. Even Colorado felt the effects. Gusts reached more than a hundred miles per hour which is strong enough to rip off a roof.

Santa Ana winds are typical in late fall, but Thursday's were unusually strong.

The setup requires strong high pressure seated in the great basin between the Wasatch range of Utah and the Sierra Nevadas of California. Low pressure off the pacific coast and a large temperature difference are also needed.

Along with the intensity, the direction of the wind was also rare. Gales raced out of the north instead of the east.

The wind Friday is dying down and it's changed direction, which could dislodge unnoticed limbs not brought down Thursday.

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