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Today In WTF: Weird Weather Hits SoCal, Tornado Reported (UPDATED 3X)

A tornado warning for south central Los Angeles County has been canceled Tuesday afternoon, but another was issued for southeastern Orange County, southwester Riverside County and northwestern San Diego County. This as the second of three successive winter storms hit the Southland Tuesday. (First UPDATE): A photographer reported that a twister touched down in Seal Beach, blew over an SUV and damaged some trees, but it's not clear if it was a true tornado or just one of the many potent wind gusts that has blown out windows and peeled roofs in the region. (Second UPDATE): Witnesses told KCAL9 news that the cause of the damage was funnel cloud or water spout that also flipped a few catamarans in Huntington Harbor. The Times reported a tornado had hit.

(Third UDPATE): County officials say they will call for the evacuations of 587 homes in some mudslide-prone foothill neighborhoods of La Cañada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Acton, unincorporated areas of Glendale and the city of Glendale.

A Ford Explorer was blown onto its side in Seal Beach.
A Ford Explorer was blown onto its side in Seal Beach.
Jonathan Nafarrete / Creative Commons

The National Weather Service had reported earlier that "Doppler radar has indicated some weak rotation within this storm" and that, "while not immediately likely ... a tornado may still develop." The service advised people who see a tornado approaching to seek shelter in a reinforced building or, as a last result, a culvert, ditch or "low spot" and cover your head with your hands.

O.C. cities that had been covered by the tornado warning include Westminster, Tustin, Stanton, Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Fullerton, Costa Mesa and Anaheim.

In Orange County Metrolink trains were advised to proceed at slower speeds, and some drivers were avoiding the 405 freeway. Flooding was reported in San Pedro, Long Beach and Irvine, where KNX 1070 Newsradio reported that one area had water as deep as cars' headlights. A partial roof collapse was reported in Irvine, too.

Yesterday threats of mud slides prompted authorities to issue evacuation orders for residents of some parts of La Canada-Flintridge and the foothills above Sunland, although most of the orders were lifted (and many residents refused to evacuate anyway).


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