Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Or happy Reformation day or whatever you are celebrating today. So for those of you who do not live in SoCal or have never been here in October let me tell you that we do not have a typical fall season. October is know for the Santa Ana winds and temperatures in the upper 80's to 90's for three or four days at a time. Then the wind will blow again from the ocean and it will be quite chilly (for us, like in the upper 50's low 60's).

So two weeks ago Jill and our niece Maddie carved some pumpkins. They had a great time. It was the first time Maddie had done this and she had some mixed emotions about it but it was fun. Enjoy the following pictures:

So the pumpkins are carved and placed on our front steps. The next day we had some Santa Ana winds and it got hot.

Santa Anas are a type of f fohn wind, the result of air pressure buildup in the high-altitude Great Basin between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. This air mass spills out of the Great Basin and is pulled by gravity into the surrounding lowlands. The air circulates clockwise around the high pressure area bringing winds from the east and northeast to Southern California (the reverse of the westerly winds characteristic of the latitude). It is often said that the air is heated and dried as it passes through the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, but according to meteorologists this is a popular misconception. The Santa Ana winds actually form during autumn and early spring when the desert is relatively cold. The air heats up due to adiabatic heating while being compressed during its descent. While the air has already been dried by orographic lift prior to reaching the Great Basin, the relative humidity of the air declines rapidly as it descends and warms in its final stages as it passes over the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges. The air is then forced down the mountain slopes out towards the Pacific coast; the air mass is further heated by compression as it drops in altitude before reaching the Los Angeles Basin and western San Diego County at typical speeds of 35 knots. The southern California coastal region gets its hottest weather of the year during autumn while Santa Ana winds are blowing. During Santa Ana conditions it is typically hotter along the coast than in the deserts and the humidity plummets to less than 15%. As the Santa Ana winds are channeled through the mountain passes they can approach hurricane force. The combination of wind, heat, and dryness turns the chaparral into explosive fuel for the infamous wildfires the region is known for. Wildfires fanned by Santa Ana winds burned 721,791 acres in two weeks during October 2003.

So our poor pumpkin spent the next week baking in the sun and I noticed that it was not doing well. Then the next day I found the following sad jack-o-lantern looking up at me from the porch:

I guess thats what we get for living in SoCal and I wouldn't have it any other way. Have a great day and don't eat too much candy!!

1 comment:

Dawn said...

I've been there. Last year we carved a pumpkin too early and then had a heat wave. It wasn't pretty. This year, nothing was carved until Sunday. The joys of living in California!

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