At about 8:18 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning in parts of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. “Take cover now,” read the alert that flashed across phones in Northwestern Malibu and Southern Ventura County. Local TV stations also issued push alerts with the warning that took many residents by surprise.
The National Weather Service in Oxnard warned of “a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Point Mugu State Park, or 10 miles south of Camarillo, moving northeast at 35 mph.” The notice stated that local “radar indicated rotation” and “this dangerous storm will be near…Western Malibu around 825 PM PDT. Newbury Park around 830 PM PDT.” Under precautionary measures, the alert urged residents to “TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.”
While no such extreme weather event was reported, heavy rain, lightning and thunder certainly hit the area during the period. The tornado alert was later canceled.
The very rare L.A.-area tornado alert is just the latest in a string of unusual, weather-related news of late. In the hours before the tornado warning, the NWS cautioned residents about waterspouts, hail and “landspouts.”
Earlier in the day, Magic Mountain Truck Road near Six Flags Magic Mountain recorded wind gusts to 102 mph, equivalent to Cat. 2 Hurricane strength.
Several weeks ago there was, of course, rare snow in the region, with flurries seen at very low elevations, including a dusting at Disneyland.
And then there is the near-constant stream of storms across the region in the past few months dumping nearly twice its average annual rainfall on the region.