Tornadoes touched down and several funnel clouds were reported in Northern California Wednesday afternoon. In fact, according to NBC News, NBC Bay Area chief meteorologist Jeff Ranieri said, ” that there had been reports of four tornadoes and six funnel clouds in the region. Two of them were confirmed by the NWS.”
The most significant amount of property damage seems to have taken place in Sacramento where at least a dozen homes were damaged. There were also several homes where fences were destroyed, and roof damage according to CBS News. Although the tornado left a path of debris that stretched 300 yards long and ten to twenty yards wide, there were, thankfully, no injuries reported.
ABC News stated that Rob Baquera, a fire department spokesman, said, ” No residents were displaced as two families whose houses had some significant damage were able to remain at home.” He continued to say that the community is currently in recovery mode although they are still shaken up a bit by having seen the tornado coming. Everyone heeded the tornado warnings and took shelter.
Although it is rare, California does have its share of tornadoes. Yahoo recorded back in 2005 that California had a record year for tornadoes, and that by the middle of that same year, California had more tornadoes than any other state in the U.S.
The tornadoes yesterday in California brought along a severe storm with heavy rain and even hail that reached the size of 1.25 inches in diameter, and lasted approximately three hours, according to News10.net. The rain continues in the region and appears that it will continue through the weekend.
Lifescience.com has learned that although California isn’t typically the target area for tornadoes, they actually have an average of five tornadoes per year. This proves that tornadoes don’t only form in the plains. If there is any kind of instability along a cold front, and the conditions are right, a tornado can form.
Tornado season began earlier this month, and typically hits its stride from May to June. Lifescience.com also reported that Tom Dang, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said that when spring rolls around in the United States, everyone has to be prepared for tornadoes.
What is interesting and scary is that tornadoes called “night twisters” are the deadliest. There are a couple of reasons for this, according to Lifescience.com. One being that the tornadoes are next to impossible to see when it is dark at night, and the second is that people often sleep through the sound of the warning sirens. Thirty-nine percent of tornado fatalities occur at night.
CBS News reported that one California resident, Mark Thompson, told their CBS Sacramento Station KOVR-TV, “I left this 15 years ago in the Midwest, and here we are with damage to our house from a tornado.”