The area of Santa Ana was explored in 1769 by a Spanish expedition led by Gaspár de Portolá. The first people to arrive in the area named the newly founded Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana settlement in honor of Santa Ana. Our editors will review what you submitted and determine if they should review the article. A common misnomer is that Santa Ana is named after General Santa Anna of Alamo fame.
However, there is no supporting evidence to suggest this and the first documented uses of Santa Ana were in reference to the Santa Ana winds. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on how the Santa Ana winds came to be known, just a lot of theories. The original spelling of the name of the winds is not clear, not to mention the origin. Although the winds today are commonly called Winds of Santa Ana or Santa Anas, many argue that the original name is Vientos de Santana (or, more correctly in Spanish, Winds of Satan).
Both versions of the name have been used. The name Santanas Winds is said to date back to Spanish California when the winds were called Satan's Hot Breath because of its warmth, a vision favored, among others, by the late television meteorologist Dr. George Fischbeck (who was said to refer to winds, in his popular way, such as the Santa Annies). The reference book Los Angeles A to Z (by Leonard & Dale Pitt), on the other hand, like many others, attributes the Santa Ana Canyon in Orange County as the origin of the name Santa Ana Winds, thus arguing the term Santa Anas.
Some of the earliest stories attributed the bed of the Santa Ana River that crosses the canyon as the source of the winds. Another account placed the origin of Santa Ana Winds with an Associated Press correspondent stationed in Santa Ana who, in a 1901 office, mistakenly began using Santa Ana Winds instead of Santana Winds. Today, Southern Californians are more likely to use Santa Ana winds, probably due to their common use by weather reporters and meteorologists. The Los Angeles Almanac, however, believes that the Winds of Santa Ana and the Winds of Santana are an old but probably misinterpretation, misinterpretation or mispronunciation of what the winds were originally called.
These super-hot winds are too widespread to realistically attribute only to the Santa Ana Canyon (winds vary along Southern California and Northern Baja California) and Santana doesn't really mean anything in Spanish, except being a surname. Rather, like the hot winds of Diablo or the Winds of the Devil in northern California, these winds (the “hot breath of Satan”) were probably originally named in Spanish after the dark lord himself, positioning the Winds of Satan or Winds of Satan closer to the historical term. According to research conducted by Orange County historian Chris Jepsen, the first reference to that term comes to us in 1871 from the Anaheim Gazette. For anyone what would become Orange County at the time, the winds seem to come out of Santa Ana Canyon, hence the name.
However, the fact that the Santa Ana winds bore the name of their city did not please the members of the Chamber of Commerce of the city of Santa Ana, and they fought for years to have its name changed. The article, published on October 18 of that year, mentioned that the first Santa Ana wind of the season occurred the previous Sunday. Santa Ana is bustling with business and industry, from hotels and restaurants to factories and medical facilities. The Santa Ana blows episodically during the autumn to spring seasons, but they are most striking (and important) in the period from September to November, before the rains begin (when they deign to appear).
This view of the multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer shows the pattern of dust in the air agitated by the Santa Ana winds on February 9, 2002. In 1981, Times writer Jack Smith wrote an article titled Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Ana that directly addressed the naming controversy. Smith stated that “Santa Ana” is usually dragged by Spanish-speaking people to something like “Santana,” and that, presumably, that's why it's often spelled that way. Southeast of the Los Angeles Basin, a swirl of dust, probably swept across the Banning Pass, curves into the ocean near Dana Point.
In 1902, he reported, a committee of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce was formed to discourage the use of the term “Santa Anas” after a news service applied the name to a particularly fierce windstorm. And it starts running in all directions, the Santa Anas also go deep into Southern California in other places as well. The name, the writer insists, leads nine out of ten people in the East to conclude that the wind of Santa Ana is peculiar only in the vicinity, surrounding and adjacent to the city of Santa Ana. Since then, some people have continued to use the term “santana” for winds, although historically they are (and have been) the Santa Ana winds.
The Santa Anas are always dry, as a result of the sinking of their place of origin over the great basin of Nevada and Utah. It was one of those hot and dry Santa Anas that go down the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itches. . .