SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A funnel cloud filmed in Isleton Thursday afternoon was confirmed as an EF-U Tornado.
U in EF-U stands for unknown on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning it’s not known how strong it was.
“The tornado touched down in like a field it looks like so there’s really no damage left so it’s really difficult to go find exactly where it was or what happened,” said science and operations officer Bill Rasch.
There was another funnel cloud that did touch down, this time near San Joaquin County around the same time.
This came more than four hours before people in San Joaquin, Calaveras and Amador counties got a separate tornado warning.
While it’s not something Californians see every day, it’s something we hear of almost every year, Bill Rausch of the National Weather Service said.
“We are kind of in the ‘Tornado alley of California,’ which is the northern part of the Sacramento Valley, basically the northern part of San Joaquin Valley all the way up through Redding,” Rausch said.
In fact, the Golden State averages 11 tornadoes a year. Looking at recent history, the Sacramento National Weather Service issued13 tornado warnings in 2014. There were nine in 2019, but none the following year. So far in 2022, there have been two warnings.
As early as Wednesday, Rasch said NWS meteorologists knew weak tornadoes could be brewing. After 4:30 p.m. Thursday, they issued a tornado warning.
Less than 10 minutes later, the San Joaquin County of Emergency Services issues an alert that told people to “Take cover now.” Rausch said the alert was not an exaggeration.
“Even an EF-0, the weakest of them, takes a little bad luck, bad things can happen,” Rausch said.