NWS: Rare tornado hits Southern California on Christmas

California

(KTLA) – A rare tornado struck coastal Ventura on Christmas night, causing some damage to the area around the harbor, the National Weather Service confirmed Thursday afternoon.

The “short-lived” tornado appeared to originate near the Santa Clara River around 9 p.m., according to a preliminary local storm report.

It moved less than a mile across the Ventura Harbor and damaged trees, a small kiosk, clay roof tiles and canopies attached to nearby businesses, the weather service said. One canopy was blown onto a fishing boat in the water.

The tornado “obviously hopped” because the damage was not consistent, the weather service’s report states.

The twister was classified as an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning its winds speeds reached 65 to 85 mph.

NWS described the tornado as “narrow,” with a width of approximately 25 to 30 feet.

No injuries were reported.

The incident occurred as a storm blew into Southern California Wednesday night, pummeling the region with heavy rain and snow.

A tornado warning had been issued for Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria in neighboring Santa Barbara County just before 10 p.m., according to NWS.

It was canceled about 25 minutes later when the storm weakened.

There was also the threat of a twister in Santa Ana, Irvine and Garden Grove, but that warning was canceled shortly after midnight Thursday.

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