Need I tell you? We have a lot of windy days in the Victor Valley, and perhaps more of it in Hesperia than elsewhere. The average works out to almost one third of our days, according to my records, and that's only at the time of my current readings - which is typically between seven and eight a.m. If I counted wind gusts, it would probably be at least two thirds of the days.

When I speak of wind, most people probably think of the great sirocco of the Sahara Desert, where the wind blows 40 to 50 miles per hour for weeks at a time, carrying with it a lot of sand. A classic dust storm, in fact. Fortunately, we don't get many of them on the Mojave Desert - although they do occur.

Our prevailing winds are generally from the south to southwest (at least in Hesperia). Most of it is an altitude adjustment phenomenon. We are at 3,500 feet and area at the south foot of the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains probable averages 1,000 feet. That's a difference of at least 2,500 feet and the air mass is thinner at our altitude. In effect, the areas "down below" are usually a high pressure area and we in the Victor Valley are a low pressure area, comparatively. And high pressure blows into low pressure.
Our winds generally start about noon and subside just after sundown. At that time, we cool down faster than areas "down below," and when we cool down (we have no inversion, like San Bernardino and Los Angels and vicinity), we become the high pressure area and they are the lower pressure.

This is especially true when a cold front moves in. The low pressure is in effect "bottled up" by the mountains and we get the worst of it. Cold fronts, like those common in the fall, winter, and spring (approximately October to May) frequently contain something called a "squall line," which is an intensive wave of wind, cold, and rain. It was a squall line that blew over all the power poles along Bear Valley Road in Apple Valley two winters ago.

During the "monsoon season," we typically have an east wind preceding a threatening thunderstorm. That's way I tell everyone "beware the east wind," for it portends rain.

And then we have our infamous Santa Ana winds. A massive high pressure area builds up, typically over the "four-corner" states, although it can also by north of us, and causes a reversal of wind direction. At that time, we in the Victor Valley are in the Victor Valley are in the high pressure area and areas "down below" are low pressure. Again, the mountains "bottle up" the pressure and nature abhors a vacuum, so the north to northeast winds funnel through the passes, like the Cajon Pass, and over the mountains, producing high temperatures and low humidity and extreme "red flag" fire danger. Hopefully, we won't have much of that this fall and winter.
But the aforementioned prevailing south to southwest winds is the norm for us. We could probably generate most of our local power from those winds. And we should try.

Editor's note: This article was written one week prior to the fires, according to Mr. Doornbos.