The Los Angeles area was struck by a rare and powerful tornado on Wednesday, which officials have now confirmed as the strongest to hit the region in four decades. The National Weather Service has rated the Montebello twister as EF1, with winds of up to 110 mph.
The last time a tornado of this magnitude hit the area was over forty years ago when an F2 tornado caused significant damage. Despite its strength, no fatalities or major injuries were reported in Wednesday's storm.
Residents in affected areas were left reeling from the unusual weather phenomenon. Several homes sustained damage, with trees uprooted and debris scattered throughout neighborhoods.
"This is something we don't see every day here in California," said Bill Patzert, a climatologist based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "It's very rare for us to get this kind of weather."
With climate change causing extreme weather events around the world, it is unclear if Southern California can expect more frequent and stronger storms like this one.
As cleanup efforts begin across impacted areas, officials are urging residents to remain cautious and take necessary safety measures during any future severe weather events.