The Most Powerful Tornado to Strike Los Angeles County Since 1983 Hits Region
At least one individual was hurt following a unprecedented tornado that struck a city south east of Los Angeles Wednesday, city representatives mentioned.
The National Weather Service affirmed the tornado “briefly touched down” in an industrial park as well as a warehouse district in the city of Montebello and rated the tornado an EF-1 with gauge peak winds of 110 mph – the most potent tornado to arrive at the Los Angeles region since 1983.
The “intense microcell” inflicted damage to a minimum of 17 structures, 11 of them so badly the fire department found them to be too hazardous to utilize, as per Michael Chee, a public information officer of the city.
At least one person sustained a minor injury when an EF-1 tornado ripped through Montebello in California on Tuesday night according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS initially issued a tornado warning for the area of Montebello, located in Los Angeles County, at 9 pm, which remained in effect until 9:15 pm.
At a news conference, meteorologist Billy Chee confirmed that an EF-1 tornado had hit Montebello, with wind speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
Videos circulating online reveal a mass of dark gray clouds engulfing the sky and descending to the ground.
The tornado caused considerable damage to the city, collapsing one roof, snapping a power pole, ejecting an HVAC unit from the top of a building, breaking skylights and damaging cars, in addition to upending a 1-foot wide-trunked pine tree.
Tornadoes are uncommon in California, with an average of less than 10 per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most of the tornadoes observed in the state are small and have a short duration. These are commonly referred to as landspouts, which are similar to waterspouts but occur on land. Although these can cause damage, it is usually not extensive or serious.
On Tuesday evening, a tornado with wind speeds at 75 mph – rated as an EF-0 – hit a mobile home park in Carpinteria, which is situated northwest of Los Angeles, the weather service reported on Wednesday.
25 mobile home units in the Sandpiper Village mobile home park were damaged by the tornado, while a nearby cemetery sustained minor tree damage. Footage of the Montebello storm reveals a swirling cloud of black debris as the roof of a building was blown off, while cars in the vicinity were left with damages and shattered windows. A witness said, “The roof came off this building” while recording the parking lot full of windswept cars.
Wednesday brought an impressive sight to the city of Montebello, as a rare phenomenon occurred in the sky. Witnesses were astounded to see a tornado, a spiral-shaped storm associated with thunderstorms.
The tornado, which occurred at 2 p.m., was captured by numerous bystanders on video. Witnesses remarked on the surprise of such a tempestuous event occurring in the typically mild city.
"This is stuff you see in Ohio, Arkansas… Not Montebello," one person observed.
The occurrence of the tornado comes as California has experienced several atmospheric rivers in recent months that have unleashed flooding, winds of hurricane force, and other calamities. Atmospheric rivers are essentially fire hoses of dense air from the tropics that dump copious amounts of rainfall or snow in higher latitudes.
Tuesday's storm brought destruction to the San Francisco Bay Area, and sadly left five people dead. San Francisco's 911 call center reportedly experienced a fourfold increase of normal call volume during the storm's peak, with over 700 trees and tree limbs falling, and reports of glass and debris cascading from tall buildings.