The Relationship between El Niño and the Duration and Frequency of the Santa Ana Winds of Southern California



This study examines the variability of the duration and frequency of Santa Ana winds due to El Niño over a thirty-three-year period. Daily Weather Maps and NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis were used to study large-scale upper-level and surface circulation patterns during wind events. A Student's t-test was used to determine statistically significant changes in the winds during March of El Niño winters. A significant decrease in the duration and frequency of wind events was found in March during El Niño. This can be attributed to the decrease in strength and frequency of the Great Basin high pressure and the increase in wintertime cyclones in southern California.