The high winds that are funneled through the mountain passes of Southern California, commonly called the Santa Anas, were especially intense this last week. These winds are even more frequent and intense during the La Niña fall and winters due to the dry air that sits over the Southwest. This image uses the NOAA’s North America Model (from December 1, 2011 at 0600z) to visualize wind speed and direction. The lightest blue to white colors represent the strongest winds – up to 80 mph. The flow vectors show the direction the winds are blowing. The highest winds can be seen blowing in between the San Gabriel Mountains.