California can get a spin-up or two. The Central Valley (where the tornado was) looks remarkably flat and Plains-like. Doesn't surprise me statistically; California is bigger than Spain. Mostly though, earthquakes, fog, wildfires, floods, mudslides and rain make weather news. Snowstorms can also be wicked in the high Sierra. They'll shut down some roads at times; makes for decent skiing though.
Tulare County seems to be CA's version of Throckmorton or Harper or Thayer....if there's a warning issued for CA, there's a good chance that Tulare County will be under it. You know they've had quite a few warnings there when you've lost count of the number of times over the years you've heard the OCM's on TWC totally butcher the pronunciation of Tulare.... :lol:
Seriously though the central San Joaquin Valley (Madera, Fresno, and Tulare Counties) is among the most severe weather prone area of the state. That area gets at least one or two tornadoes each year. Funnel clouds and 3/4 to 1 inch hail are reported in that area several times each year as well.
WOW! Dave good pix, and thanks for posting that news report.
I liked that funnel pix above the HB pier. I spent many a day surfing that spot. Always good to see some of the local (S. Cal) folks interested in severe weather as well! I am here in Dana Point, and sometimes it seems like I am the only weather freak around!
By the way I checked your website, and I liked the pix of Switzerland. My wife and I stayed just across the valley from Grindlewald, in a town called Gimmewald. Much fun, and amazing hikes / scenery.
I had 2 kids that lived in Porterville for awhile. They said they got some good storms there.
West coast does see its share of severe weather. Not sure if it is just now that it gets reported or it is increasing. The tornadoes up there are usually very weak, but they still come down (remember the outbreak in WA state this summer). I was in a tornado in December (of all times) in Portland, OR in 1993. Very eery! Missed the bar we took refuge in (we were travelling there for my grandmother's funeral and had to leave the freeway due to bad conditions) and missed the touchdown by 2 miles. Blackend parts of the city for hours. Had no idea it was a tornado until I finally got to my grandmothers and my mom was panicked, it was all over the news. Wind was so bad that it had picked up my VW Rabbit and moved it over 2 lanes, so we made for a fast exit. I had thought I had saw funnel clouds in the gorge, but dismissed it because it was December, a tornado in OR in Dec? Didn't think it was possible.
This was before my fasination turned to chasing and study. I had no idea about the way weather worked at that time. :wink:
Severe weather can occur anytime during the wet season along the Pacific Coast states - although it is more common towards the beginning (Oct) and the end (Feb-Mar) of the wet season. There has been an increase in reports in recent years - part of this has to do with the increase in population...20 years ago and before a tornado in CA, OR, or WA only got reported if it did damage in a populated area. Also in the past 10 years the National Weather Service in that region has been doing a much better job of verifying tornado and large hail reports.
Thought it was interesting as we were talking about this, look at the SPC forecast for Central Cal
CYCLONIC LOW LEVEL FLOW BENEATH DEEPENING UPPER TROUGH...IN
CONJUNCTION WITH SURFACE HEATING...MAY SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF
DIURNALLY ENHANCED POST-FRONTAL CONVECTION OVER PARTS OF CA THROUGH
THE PERIOD. MEAN 700-500 MB FLOW WILL LIKELY EXCEED 40 KTS BETWEEN
SFO AND LAX...AND OVER THE SRN HALF OF THE CNTRL VLY. THUS...AMPLE
CLOUD LAYER SHEAR WILL EXIST FOR SUPERCELLS IN THESE AREAS. FARTHER
N...LOW FREEZING LEVELS MAY SUPPORT A FEW STORMS WITH HAIL DESPITE
WEAKER DEEP SHEAR. TOPOGRAPHICALLY-CHANNELED LOW LEVEL FLOW COULD
SUPPORT LOW LEVEL STORM ROTATION AND AN ISOLATED TORNADO OR TWO OVER
THE CNTRL PART OF THE STATE... ESPECIALLY IF UPPER SYSTEM REMAINS
PROGRESSIVE AND MODEST HEATING OCCURS IN WAKE OF FRONTAL BAND
From the SPC this morning -
A VIGOROUS COLD UPPER-LOW WILL CONTINUE TO DIG SSEWD TODAY ALONG THE
COAST OF CA. A LARGE AREA OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN IS ONGOING IN
THE LA BASIN ALONG THE FRONT AND AHEAD OF A BAND OF STRONG
LARGE-SCALE ASCENT. IN ADDITION...A WELL-DEFINED MID-LEVEL JET OF 90
KT IS CURRENTLY OFF THE COAST OF SRN CA. THIS FEATURE WILL CONTINUE
MOVING INLAND...PROVIDING STRONG ASCENT FAVORABLE FOR THUNDERSTORM
DEVELOPMENT THIS AFTERNOON. STORMS WILL BE MOST LIKELY IN THE BAND
OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN AS THE BAND DRIFTS SWD ALONG THE COAST
TOWARD THE SAN DIEGO AREA THIS MORNING. OTHER STORMS WILL LIKELY
DEVELOP FARTHER NORTHWEST CLOSER TO THE UPPER-LOW WHERE THE
COMBINATION OF SFC HEATING AND COLD AIR ALOFT SHOULD BE MAXIMIZED.
IN ADDITION...A VORTICITY MAX EVIDENT ON WATER VAPOR IMAGERY WILL
MOVE SSEWD INTO THE LA BASIN THIS AFTERNOON. THIS COMBINED WITH
STRONG DEEP LAYER SHEAR WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR STRONG CONVECTION
WHICH MAY APPROACH SEVERE LIMITS. IF ENHANCED SFC HEATING OCCURS AND
SFC-BASED INSTABILITY CAN DEVELOP...A FEW MINI-SUPERCELLS WILL BE
POSSIBLE WITH A MARGINAL THREAT FOR WIND DAMAGE OR HAIL MAINLY ALONG
THE SRN CA COAST AND ACROSS THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY. A MINIMAL
TORNADO THREAT MAY ALSO DEVELOP IF SFC WINDS CAN RETURN TO THE
SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE LA BASIN CREATING A FAVORABLE SHEAR ENVIRONMENT
FOR LOW-LEVEL STORM ROTATION