5 Northern California Tornadoes Tie State Record

By DON THOMPSON | October 25, 2012

The five tornadoes that touched down across Northern California this week tied a single-day record dating to 1996, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

Thunderstorms were expected again Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the first series of storms of the season, but they were not expected to produce the same dangerous turbulence.

“Knock on wood, we don’t expect them to be as severe,” said Jim Mathews, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Sacramento.

The worst of the weather was on Monday, he said. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the Central Valley through Wednesday before things dry out Thursday. A winter weather advisory was in effect for Tuesday night in the Sierra Nevada, with up to seven more inches of snow expected. Snow showers on Wednesday might add another two inches.

Monday’s five confirmed tornadoes damaged dozens of homes and a handful of commercial buildings across an 80-mile swath of the northern Central Valley stretching from south of Sacramento to near Oroville, then toppled trees in the Sierra Nevada foothills north of Auburn. No injuries were reported.

It was the highest number of tornadoes in one day since April Fool’s Day in 1996, when five tornadoes flattened trees and barns near Stockton, Mathews said. California typically might experience one or two lower-grade twisters in a season, but the north state had 13 roar through in 2005, more than Oklahoma that year.

Most are less damaging and deadly than their Midwest counterparts, Mathews said, and that was the pattern on Monday.

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