A Rare Tornado Tears Through Part of Los Angeles County

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Written by DEPKES.ORG March 2023

A tornado tore through Montebello, Calif., in Los Angeles County on Wednesday, damaging buildings and cars in a part of the country that doesn't frequently see tornadoes.

The strongest tornado to impact the Los Angeles Metro area since March 1983 touched down at 11:14 a.m. for two to three minutes, according to the National Weather Service.

California averages 11 tornadoes per year, which typically occur in the spring and fall in the northern half of the Central Valley between Redding and Modesto, according to NWS.

Why are tornadoes rare in southern California?

NWS classifies tornadoes using the Enhanced Fujita scale, which is based on estimated wind speeds and tornado-related damage. The Montebello tornado was classified as EF1, or weak.

But even with that weak rating, it damaged 17 structures, uprooted a tree, snapped a power pole and destroyed car windows, and LAist reports that one person suffered minor injuries.