Skip to content
Possible tornado near Los Angeles tears roofs off buildings

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A possible tornado touched down in a Los Angeles suburb on Wednesday, ripping chunks of roofing off a line of commercial buildings and sending debris writhing through the sky and across a city block, hurting a person.

The National Weather Service said it sent crews to assess damage in Montebello and the southern Santa Barbara County town of Carpinteria, where another possible tornado struck on Tuesday.

Preliminary information says it’s “highly possible” that the apparent funnel cloud spotted a few miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles is a tornado, said weather service meteorologist Rose Schoenfeld.

“It’s definitely not something common in the area,” Schoenfeld said.

One person was injured and was taken to hospital, said Alex Gillman, a city spokesman. He did not know the severity of the injury.

At least five structures and a small number of vehicles were damaged, but a full assessment was still underway, Gillman said. The damage extended over more than a city block, but the extent of the perimeter was still being determined. The area’s gas and electricity were cut off, he said.

The rare and severe weather came amid a strong late-season Pacific storm that brought damaging winds and more rain and snow to saturated California. Two people died on Tuesday as the storm swept through the San Francisco Bay Area with powerful gusts and downpours.

Schoenfeld said more choppy weather was possible throughout the afternoon in Southern California.

“All the ingredients are there for other possible events like the one we saw earlier,” she said.

The last time the Los Angeles Weather Service office sent tornado assessment teams was in 2016 near Fillmore in Ventura County, where it was determined that a small tornado had touched down , said Schoenfeld.

A radar-based tornado warning was also issued Tuesday evening for the Point Mugu area west of Malibu. The warning was later rescinded, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that there was no evidence a tornado had touched down.

The storm was shrinking across California from north to south while pushing inland through the southwest, the Four Corners region and the central and southern Rockies, the National Weather Service said. On Tuesday, some residents of north-central Arizona were told to prepare to evacuate due to rising waters in rivers and ponds.

The wind and rain chaos from San Francisco Bay south to Monterey Bay on Tuesday was caused by an extraordinary drop in barometric pressure over the eastern Pacific that meteorologists described as an “explosive cyclogenesis”. .

“Wow. Even by the standards of what turned out to be one of our most extraordinary winter seasons in a very long time, yesterday…stands out,” wrote the Bay Area weather bureau.

Trees and power lines were downed. Windows were blown out of two skyscrapers in San Francisco, NBC Bay Area reported. The ferry service was interrupted because the conditions were too difficult. Three houseboats escaped and damaged a bridge.

An Amtrak commuter train carrying 55 passengers hit a downed tree and derailed near the East Bay village of Porta Costa. The train remained upright and no one was injured, Amtrak and firefighters said.

In the Bay Area community of Portola Valley, a man driving a sewer truck was killed when a tree fell on the vehicle, the California Highway Patrol said. And in the community of Rossmoor, a driver was injured and a passenger died after a large tree fell on a car, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said.

In the Monterey Bay area, Santa Cruz County was ravaged by gusts of up to 80 mph (129 km/h) at noon. Along the shoreline of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, ocean foam blew over the roads like large snowflakes.

Wind gusts reached 76 mph (122 km/h) in mountain communities in Santa Cruz, including Boulder Creek.

Resident Frank Kuhr waited for hours Tuesday afternoon at a downtown supermarket for crews to remove large redwood trees that were blocking a highway. “Trees fell everywhere,” Kuhr said. “The wind was incredible. Branches flew through the air and people could hear trees falling and creaking. »

“This one is a doozy,” Kuhr said.

The 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters) of rain that fell on downtown Los Angeles broke the March 21 record of 1.34 inches (3.40 centimeters) set in 1893.

Some 121,000 customers were without power early Wednesday statewide, according to

The National Weather Service said Tuesday’s storm, which came on the first full day of spring after the state’s extraordinary winter, was a Pacific low pressure system interacting with California’s 12th Atmospheric River since late December. .

California’s unexpected siege of wet weather after years of drought also included February blizzards fueled by arctic air.

The storms triggered flooding and loaded the mountains with so much snow that roofs were crushed and crews struggled to keep highways free from avalanches.

The Mammoth Mountain resort in the eastern Sierra Nevada has announced that it will remain open for skiing and snowboarding until at least the end of July.

With a season-to-date snowfall of 634 inches (16.1 meters) at the main lodge, it was likely just one storm away from breaking the all-time record of 668 inches (16.9 meters) set during of the 2010-2011 season.

Associated Press writer Christopher Weber contributed from Los Angeles.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.