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Northern California Sees 9 Tornadoes in 6 Months

On Wednesday the area in and around Sacramento was pounded with rain, hail, and wind.

Yuba City got that and then some. The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF0 tornado touched down approximately six miles north of Yuba City. After the tornado touched down it moved northeast for up to two miles, crossing from Sutter County into Yuba County, according to meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie with the NWS.

There were plenty of people who saw it. Yuba City resident Jeremy Boyd was driving to the store when he spotted the twister. "We could just see the funnel cloud forming up and moving around; watching the vapor come up and connect," he recalled. "It's the craziest I've seen."

Another person who watched the tornado was Jerry Filter, though he had a much closer look. "I was up on the leeve watching the clouds, rotating around," he said. "It wasn't real huge, but it was enough to pull water up (out of the river)."

After that Filter said leaves started raining down on his orchard. "I guess the rotation quit, but it pulled (the leaves) way up in the air there. They were coming out of the sky for about 10 minutes," he recalled.

A day after the storm Filter searched his orchard looking for any aftermath. He found plenty of leaves, but thankfully no damage. However, he said in all his life he's never seen anything like Wednesday's tornado.

Hoxsie pointed out that tornadoes aren't unusual in the area. "We get two to five tornados a year. They tend to be brief two to five minutes," she said.

While tornados can happen anywhere Hoxsie added it is odd there have been eight in the last three months.

The reason the tornados keep happening is because of the cold temperature the area has gotten.

Hoxsie explained when a cold front that comes through earlier in the day it gives the sun a chance to warm up the ground, and if there's a vertical wind profile through the atmosphere that causes the extra spin.

That means if the cold sticks around there's a chance for more tornados, which is bad news for Filter. "Hopefully the funnel clouds are over," he laughed.

In the last six months a total of nine tornados have been confirmed.

May 25, 2011: One EF2 tornado north of Oroville in Butte county; two EF1 tornadoes in Glenn and Butte Counties

April 7, 2011: EF0 tornado at Rockville in Solano County

March 23, 2011: EF0 tornado at Williams in Colusa County
March 21, 2011: EF0 tornado at Maxwell in Colusa County
February 25, 2011: EF0 tornado at Mather in Sacramento County
November 23, 2010: EF1 tornado near Latrobe in El Dorado County

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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