For the third time in three months, a tornado has touched down within the greater Los Angeles area in southern California. The National Weather Service office in Oxnard with responsibility for the general Los Angeles region confirmed that a weak tornado touched down this morning near the Carson-Compton area.
According to a preliminary local storm report released by the National Weather Service, at 8:45 am this morning, a tornado touched-down roughly 2 miles west-southwest of Compton in Los Angeles. “Brief weak tornado occurred this morning based on photographic and video evidence in the Carson-Compton area,” the National Weather Service reported. “Concentrated short path of minor damage to a couple of buildings, vehicle damage from debris, and tree damage,” they added, saying they’ve seen photographic evidence of swirling debris beneath the updraft base of a thunderstorm.
“Degree of damage suggests 75 mph EF-0 tornado,” the National Weather Service said.
The Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF Scale, which became operational on February 1, 2007, is used to assign a tornado a ‘rating’ based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. When tornado-related damage is surveyed, it is compared to a list of Damage Indicators (DIs) and Degrees of Damage (DoD) which help estimate better the range of wind speeds the tornado likely produced. From that, a rating (from EF0 to EF5) is assigned. In general, EF-0 tornadoes have 65-85 mph winds, EF-1 have 86-110 mph winds, EF-2 have 111-135 mph winds, EF-3 have 136-165 mph winds, EF-4 have 166-200 mph winds, and EF-5 tornadoes have winds in excess of 200 mph. The EF Scale was revised from the original Fujita Scale to reflect better examinations of tornado damage surveys so as to align wind speeds more closely with associated storm damage., with the new scale related to how most structures are designed.
Today’s tornado was the third to touch down in the Los Angeles area in recent months. On March 22, an EF-1 tornado touched down in Montebello; the National Weather Service has said it was the first EF-1 tornado to strike Los Angeles since 1998. On February 23, a weak EF-0 tornado hit La Mirada.