I am in the middle of a Santa Ana, and trying to understand how it works. When I was in Switzerland, I experienced the equivalent, the Voehn, and didn't really understand that either. In Libya, I nearly melted under their equivalent, the Gibeli, which just means the south wind.
Wind come from south, desert area, which mean plenty hot wind melt white man brain etc. It - wind not brain - climb over mountain range, increase pressure - or something like that.
By the time the wind reaches you on the other side of the mountain, it is hot enough to roast the rowlocks off a reindeer.Under the Voehn, people get ratty, suicidal, the number of road accidents increases.
Here, under the Californian Santa Ana, I am taking no chances: I am spending my time in the back garden in the shade of a Black Acacia, working my way through the products of the Napa Valley vineyards. When it comes to meteorological phenomena, I am real cool.