20 January 2010
"California Hit by Strong Weather"
A RARE tornado warning was been issued for Los Angeles as a storm slammed into southern California, dumping heavy rain and snow across the region and leaving thousands of homes without power. A strong storm moving in from the Pacific Ocean and packing winds of about 95 km/h had triggered the tornado alert. "We don't have any physical evidence of a tornado, but our radars indicated it is spinning rapidly so there's a good chance of a tornado at the surface." Powerful storm fronts developing at sea often weakened by the time they made landfall, so tornado alerts in sun-baked California are "pretty rare". The storm rolling into southern California Tuesday followed a similar weather front which deluged the region 24 hours earlier. Authorities placed hillside communities on alert for flash flooding and mudslides, a major concern in regions affected by raging wildfires last year. Yesterday's storm was one of a series of wet weather fronts forecast to hit southern California this week, which are expected to drop as much as 16 inches of rain in some areas. Monday's storm was the second of at least four expected to march through the state this week.