California averages about six tornados a year, although most of those touch down near the Los Angeles Basin or in the Central Valley, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.
Today marked a day of unusual weather, however, as the Bay Area had several brushes with cyclones of various forms, including a funnel cloud that flattened a shed in Santa Rosa and a waterspout the twisted over the waters near San Francisco's Ocean Beach.
"It's not completely rare," meteorologist Chris Stumpf said. "They do occur occasionally."
Stumpf said the last time a tornado touched down in the Bay Area was March 21, 2005, when it struck South San Francisco. That vortex had wind speeds between 73 and 112 mph, which were strong enough to lift roofs and awnings off houses and down power lines.....MORE
This is, of course, a great excuse to dig up the big dog of waterspout pictures, from our post "Dear Kansas, I'll See ya and Raise: Five Tornados at one time off Novorossiysk, Russia":
Okay, waterspouts. if you're going to get all technical on me.
I'm not sure about RT, their stories sometimes have a bit of a National Enquirer feel to them but I was told by an ex-pat that this actually happened back in August. Number five is curling in from the top left.
From Russia Today:
No less then five tornadoes have sprung up just a kilometer out at sea from the port town of Novorossiysk....