Excerpt from The Wonders of the Colorado Desert, (Southern California), Vol. 2 of 2: Its Rivers and Its Mountains, Its Canyons and Its Springs, Its Life and Its History, Pictured and Described; Including an Account of a Recent Journey Made Down the Overflow of the Colorado River to th... e Mysterious Salton Sea
The other factor he presents as follows: Any one who has te sided a few years in the Los Angeles and San Bernardino valleys cannot have failed to notice and execrate the ba¿ling west wind that so often breaks up the storm-current from which refreshing rain is hoped. A southeaster sets in, blows for several days, clouds gather loweringly upon the mountains, and the parched earth waits for the cooling shower. But suddenly the storm-drift checks, the west wind comes rushing in, there is an angry commo tion in the upper air, and the clouds, bafiled and beaten, are driven back, carrying with them their precious moisture, through the mountain passes to the interior. This especially happens in the evening, the time for the full strength of the daily sea-breeze, and so repeatedly that the plaintive remark is often heard, 'if only our rain-current will continue until the turn of the evening, we shall escape the west wind, and then we are certain of another day's rain.' What is the cause of this interruption Simply this: back of those mountains is the desert. All day it is heating up with the sun. When afternoon comes, it is probably 40° hotter than the ocean on the west. Then the cold sea air rushes in through every break in the mountain chain, to take the place of this rarified atmosphere, forcing back with it the clouds, whose moisture is quickly dissipated by the scorching breath of the sands. So con stant and powerful is this wind-current that the trees in the San Gorgonio Pass are all blown from the perpendicular, and slant toward the east.
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