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A tornado warning has been issued via radio among severe thunderstorms as well as the formation of a funnel indicating imminent severe tornado.
Q: How common are tornadoes in California? When they hit, people always say how unusual they are, but is that really the case?
A: Tornadoes are not as rare in the Golden State as most people seem to think. From 1950-2004, there were 303 documented tornadoes in California, and, since 1993, an additional 57 waterspouts in the state’s coastal waters — an average of almost six tornadoes and five waterspouts per year. But so far in 2005, California is more like Tornado Alley, with about 20 tornadoes in the state, including 12 in Sacramento County — more than in the Oklahoma City metro area!
Though 80% of California tornadoes are weak, with Fujita scale rankings of F-0 or F-1, there have been a number of significant storms in populated areas. With 41 tornadoes, Los Angeles County ranks as the tornado capital of the state, five of which were ranked as F-2. Nearby Orange County has had 28 tornadoes and at least as many waterspouts concentrated in its relatively small area of 798 square miles.
In a recent study, veteran California tornado expert John Monteverdi of San Francisco State University estimates that approximately half of the state’s tornadoes are spawned by supercells. The remainder are the result of smaller circulations, including a number of “cold air funnels.”
California has had two unique tornado events in the past decade. In 1998, an F-2 tornado in Sunnyvale was the first anticyclonic supercell and anticyclonic tornado to be documented with the WSR-88D NEXRAD radar. And in July 2004, the highest-elevation tornado ever observed in the USA. was photographed along Rockwell Pass in the Sequoia National Park, at an elevation of about 12,000 feet.
(Answered by Jan Null, Golden Gate Weather Services, May 18, 2005)
Originally posted by gloomyblue707
A SMALL TWISTER TOUCHED DOWN IN THE TOWN OF WILLIAMS...CONFIRMED
Originally posted by Jinglelord
Small tornadoes are not completely uncommon in California. If it was a huge one then yeah that would be odd. Look here if you don't believe me: (Tons of F1 and F2)
Originally posted by TasteTheTruth
This is insane, we have NEVER had any tornado warnings in California.