L.A.’s Dread Winds of Autumn

The Santa Anas Keep Blowing Our Minds

You know them when you feel them, or when you hear them blowing through the trees. They’ve cut out your power or even threatened your home. And you can quote Los Angeles writers Raymond Chandler and Joan Didion on their power to inspire murderous thoughts and unease. But what exactly are the Santa Ana winds? How do they wreak destruction on Southern California? And why have their legends persisted?

At a Zócalo event on a warm Friday evening at downtown’s Grand Park, UCLA meteorologist Robert Fovell, L.A. County Fire Captain Drew …