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HomeUSStrongest tornado in L.A. County in 40 years hit 110 mile-per-hour winds

Strongest tornado in L.A. County in 40 years hit 110 mile-per-hour winds


The tornado that ripped through Montebello for minutes Wednesday had winds of 110 miles per hour, the strongest tornado to touch down in Los Angeles County since 1983, according to the National Weather Service.

The Montebello tornado, which tore a path nearly half a mile long, left 17 buildings damaged and 11 structures red-tagged, according to the National Weather Service and local officials. The tornado was 50 yards wide.

The tornado registered an EF1 in the Enhanced Fujita Scalewhich measures weather events as a function of wind speed.

An EF1 tornado is any that registers winds between 86 and 110 mph and is considered a “weak” tornado. The most powerful tornadoes, with designations of EF5, have winds in excess of 200 mph.

The last time a tornado struck at least one EF1 in Los Angeles County was just over 40 years ago, on March 1, 1983, when an EF2 tornado tore through a residential area in South-Central.

That tornado injured 25, mostly from flying glass, destroyed 37 homes, and severely damaged more than 100 more. Wednesday’s tornado injured only one.

On Tuesday, the city of Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County was also hit by a tornado, much less severe than the Montebello tornado.

The tornado that struck the coastal town had winds of just 75 mph, though it was enough to damage 25 mobile homes in Sandpiper Village and surrounding trees. One person was injured in the Carpinteria tornado.

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