A tornado swept through a town in southern California on Wednesday March 22, tearing roofs and shaking cars, at the end of a particularly violent winter in this western American state.
The mass of swirling winds, usually seen in the central plains of the country, swept through Montebello, a few miles from Los Angeles.
“The tornado tore the roof off the building. All the car windows were smashed. Cars were destroyed, it was chaos
“The tornado tore the roof off the building.
All the car windows were smashed.
Cars were destroyed, it was chaos
,” a trader told local channel KTLA.
Videos show what appear to be rotating roof elements above industrial buildings in this city of more than 60,000 people.
And aerial footage exposed the extent of the damage: holes in several roofs, twisted and broken pipes, and cars being pushed out of their parking spaces.
The national weather service, the NWS, said it was investigating the event, a
, as well as another that occurred in Carpinteria, nearly 150km to the west.
This other tornado
"damaged about 25 mobile homes"
, said the NWS.
Preliminary estimates from the agency indicate that both tornadoes included winds of up to nearly 140 km/hour.
"This is a fairly sizable tornado for normals
as it impacted a populated area, clearly caused damage and possibly resulted in injury
," meteorologist Daniel Swain tweeted.
The tornadoes came on the tail end of a severe rain and snowstorm that ripped through California and caused power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
Large portions of the state remain on flood alert, and a considerable portion of Tulare County, where Sequoia National Park is located, is still under water.
The western United States has seen record snowfall and precipitation in recent weeks.
Recent storms in California are fed, like most others this season, by an “atmospheric river,” a gigantic corridor of rain that transports water vapor stored in the tropics, often around Hawaii.
California water authorities believe that while the state's reservoirs are far fuller than they have been in many years, that could all quickly change for the worse if next winter were to come. as dry as 2022.
While it is difficult to establish a direct link between these storms and climate change, scientists regularly explain that warming increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.