Southern California's dry winds in fall and winter can rise up to speeds of 90 mph. Commonly known as the Santa Ana winds, they're now making their first attack on the area.
Panic has arisen on social media. That can't change the winds' mind, but you can find Twitter accounts personifying the winds with posts updating us on their progress.
Here are 10 pop culture references to the famous winds to keep you occupied in the house for a few minutes — and spare you from heading outside and getting yourself blown away.
10. Big Wednesday
The 1978 film, which chronicles the lives of surfers in California from the 60s and 70s, opens with a description of the Santa Anas. You can even spot a very tanned, younger version of Gary Busey strutting his stuff:
9. America's Next Top Model
During cycle 11 of the series, the models were assigned the task of representing Los Angeles natural disasters such as earthquakes and tidal waves. Analeigh was chosen to represent the wind.
8. Less Than Zero
Bret Easton Ellis' novel follows the young, rich teenager Clay during his college winter break in Los Angeles, which cites the Santa Ana winds in its description of the setting: “The darkness, the wind rustling from the hedges…all had an eerie effect on me and I ran inside and turned all the lights on and got into bed and fell asleep, listening to the strange desert wind moan outside my window.” The novel is currently competing in L.A. Weekly's Best L.A. Novel Ever Tournament.
7. Beach Boys
The song “Santa Ana Winds” appears on the Beach Boy's twenty-fourth album Keepin' the Summer Alive. It begins by saying, “Here in Southern California there is a weather condition known as the Santa Ana Winds,” later praising the winds for creating nice waves.
Up next: Paul Rudd
6. Santa Ana Winds Youth Band
The youth band is located in Orange County and uses the winds as its name because of the large number of band members who play wind instruments.
5. I Love You, Man
The 2009 film featuring Paul Rudd and Jason Segal mentions the dry winds during a open house hosted by Paul Rudd's character. As he discusses the house with a pair of prospective buyers, he says, “When the Santa Anas come through, it is majestic.”
4. White Oleander
Janet Fitch's novel follows Astrid on her journey to adulthood through stints in multiple foster homes. The oleander that the book takes its title from only blooms during the hot Santa Ana winds. Astrid discusses this natural disaster and connects it to her life: “My mother was not herself in the time of the Santa Anas. I was twelve years old and I was afraid for her. I wished things were back the way they had been, that Barry was here, that the wind would stop blowing.” The novel is also competing in L.A. Weekly's Best L.A. Novel Ever Tournament.
Up next: Didion
3. Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Joan Didion's 1968 collection of essays features “Los Angeles Notebook,” which dedicates a section to describing in great detail how the Santa Ana Winds are a huge disturbance in the area: “…the violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability. The winds shows us how close to the edge we are.”
Wreaking major havoc is what Nancy Botwin does best, but she still leaves us loving her. Season 3 forces Nancy to make a decision to escape her old life, which leaves the audience staring as Nancy glides by on a Segway as her house and the Agrestic community burn to the ground. The large fire is said to have been caused by hot weather and the dry Santa Ana winds:
1. Red Wind
Raymond Chandler's 1938 novella describes the winds in its opening paragraph:
“It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch.”