(KTXL) — Throughout 2022, Northern California saw a variety of different weather phenomena, including record-breaking heat waves, tornadoes and rare summertime rain, all while the state continues to go through a drought.

Record-breaking heat wave

In September, downtown Sacramento broke records for the highest temperature reached during the month and the highest temperature ever recorded in the city.

On Sept. 5, downtown Sacramento reached 110 degrees, the NWS said. Previously, the highest temperature recorded in the month of September was 108 degrees.

But one day later, the city broke the record for the highest temperature ever recorded in the city, a high of 116 degrees.

Prior to this, Downtown Sacramento’s previous highest temperature recorded was 114 degrees on July 17, 1925, according to the NWS.

Tornadoes and funnel clouds

While tornadoes are not a regular occurrence in California, it is a weather phenomenon that can appear in the state, specifically in Northern California. According to the NWS, California averages around 11 tornadoes a year.

In March, a funnel cloud, which is a rotating column of air that extends from the base of a large cloud without touching the ground, was spotted in Woodland.

In April a funnel cloud that was later confirmed as a tornado was filmed in Isleton.

Then in November a tornado touched down and caused minor damages in Galt.

Summertime rain

While dry lightning can be seen throughout Northern California in the summer, in early August, monsoon moisture brought periods of heavier-than-normal rain.

Later in August, despite over 100-degree temperatures, rain was expected once again due to monsoon moisture.


California has been in a drought for the better part of a decade, and long stretches without rain have become a regular occurrence.

At the beginning of the year, Downtown Sacramento went 66 days, nearly 10 weeks without rain. It was the longest winter stretch without rain in the state, the season when it traditionally rains. It wasn’t until mid-March that Downtown Sacramento saw measurable rain.

Despite a dry start to the year, heavy rain seen in September, along with rain in November and December, is helping get the state’s lakes, reservoirs and other waterways to higher water levels.

We shall see if 2023 brings more much-needed rain to the state.