2004: Temperatures soar all across Southern California smashing records

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Santa Ana Winds occur when air from an area of high pressure over the dry, desert region of the southwestern U.S. flows westward in its clockwise circulation toward the California coast. This creates dry winds that flow east to west through the mountain passages in Southern California. These winds are most common during the cooler months of the year, occurring from September through May. Santa Ana winds typically feel warm or even hot because as the cool desert air moves down the side of the mountain, it is compressed, and that causes the temperature of the air to rise at the rate of more than 5 degrees for every thousand feet in descends. These strong winds can cause major property damage. They also increase wildfire risk because of the dryness of the winds and the speed at which they can spread flames across the landscape. The winds can produce uncommon heat. On April 27, 2004 a strong Santa Ana developed causing temperatures to soar all across Southern California smashing records by more than 10 degrees in some places. Ontario, California, near Los Angles reached 100 degrees breaking the old record of 90, Riverside reached 101, the mercury at the beaches reached closed to 90.

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