Correction: California Tornado-Q&A storyJanuary 13, 2017 2:20am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a story Jan. 11 about a tornado in Northern California, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the tornado was south of Sacramento. It was actually north of Sacramento.

A corrected version of the story is below:

A tornado in California? Not as rare as you might think

The latest storm to wallop Northern California whipped up a small tornado that downed trees and fences near Sacramento

By CHRISTOPHER WEBER

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The latest storm to wallop Northern California whipped up a small tornado that downed trees and fences near Sacramento.

Here's what you need to know about twisters in California, which occur regularly but in limited numbers and force.

___

HOW BIG WAS TUESDAY'S TORNADO?

The twister that touched down north of the state capital registered EF0, at the lowest edge of the tornado scale that goes up to EF5. The Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale measures the intensity of tornadoes in the U.S. and Canada based on damage caused.

No injuries were reported from the tornado, which was on the ground for 3/8 of a mile and carved a path of minor damage about 100 yards wide, according to National Weather Service meteorologist David Rowe.

"It came as a little bit of a surprise considering that we're so focused on all the heavy snow and rain," Rowe said.

Most California twisters are in the EF0-EF1 range and are less damaging and deadly than their Midwest counterparts. The strongest ever recorded in California were EF3s — one in Riverside County in Aug. 1973 and another in Orange County in Feb. 1978

___

HOW COMMON ARE TORNADOES IN CALIFORNIA?

Of the 1,000-or-so tornadoes that annually strike the United States, about 11 occur in California, according to the American Meteorological Society.

Thirteen roared through in 2005, more than Oklahoma that year.

In October 2012, five tornadoes touched down in north central California, damaging dozens of homes and a handful of commercial buildings.

That event marked the highest number of tornadoes in one day for California since April Fool's Day in 1996, when five tornadoes flattened trees and barns near the north central city of Stockton.

California tornadoes are most common in wide open spaces in the state's Central Valley, the agricultural heartland where the terrain is similar to that of the Great Plains.

___

WHAT CAUSES TORNADOES?

Tuesday's twister accompanied a powerful line of thunderstorms and followed days of volatile weather, said National Weather Service meteorologist Travis Wilson.

They were ideal conditions for creating twisters. When cooler air is forced aloft, wind speeds tend to increase and that can cause tornadoes, Wilson said.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Los Angeles City fire arson investigators work at the scene of residential fire, in South Los Angeles where four children ranging in age from 2 to 7 were hurt and are in critical condition  Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, after being rescued while ''nearly lifeless'' from a fire in their home on Monday night. (Irfan Khan//Los Angeles Times via AP)
4 siblings critical after rescue from Los Angeles house fire
Panel to review fire's spread from Smokies to Tennessee cityAuthorities are forming a team to investigate the massive fires that tore through the Tennessee tourist city of Gatlinburg late last year, killing 14 people
1 Marine killed, 1 injured in exercise at California baseThe Marine Corps says a Marine was killed and another was injured during a live-fire training exercise at a California desert base
Wash me: Sinkhole at car wash swallows tractor-trailer truckThe 55,000-pound excavation truck wasn't in the area for a wash, but it may need one after being partially swallowed by a sinkhole in north Georgia
Rain pounds Houston as flooded roadways strand motoristsEmergency crews have made dozens of high-water rescues as thunderstorms flooded the Houston area and battered other parts of Texas
FILE - This Jan. 13, 2017 file photo shows an Amtrak train passes in front of Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland, Calif. Two members of Tower of Power, a group that has been an R&B institution for nearly 50 years, were hit by an Amtrak train on Jan. 12, as they walked across tracks before a performance in their hometown of Oakland. The drummer Dave Garibaldi is in fair condition but will remain hospitalized for the next few days, according to a statement from the band. Garibaldi suffered head and facial injuries and bassist Marc Van Wageningen remains in critical condition, but has been responsive. Van Wageningen suffered broken ribs, a concussion, and internal injuries. He underwent surgery. (AP Photo/Ben Margot,File)
Tower of Power band members recovering after train accident
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices