Earlier this week, a hiker had the best reaction when he spotted a waterspout forming off the coast in California’s Sonoma County. Of course, we knew immediately where the person was from after watching the clip.
In the clip, viewers watch in awe as the whirling sphere of air and water forms as the hiker makes the most California comment we’ve ever heard, describing what he’s seeing by saying, “dope, it’s an ocean tornado!”
According to experts at the National Weather Service, waterspouts are classified into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.
Man has the most California response to seeing waterspout
Per reports from NWS, tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that are birthed over water and then migrate to land or water. They also have the same features as a land tornado. They are often seen with severe thunderstorms like the ones we’ve seen with the recent atmospheric rivers that have battered Northern California, dumping inches of rain over the region.
On the other hand, the NWS says fair weather waterspouts typically form along a line of developing cumulus clouds. In addition, these types of waterspouts are usually not found with thunderstorms.
On Saturday, California continued to get hammered with massive amounts of rain, wind, and snow, further adding to flooding concerns. Cities continued to receive significant influxes of gusty winds and intense rainfall.
California continues to get hit hard with rain, flooding
According to meteorologists, Californians are expected to get more storms into early next week. Currently, more than 68,000 people are without electricity, according to poweroutage.us.
North of San Francisco Bay, in Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties, officials issued flood warnings for residents. Further south, officials put in place warnings for areas such as San Mateo and Santa Cruz. There, the small town of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was forced to evacuate.
In addition, the gushing Salinas River spilled into farmland in Monterey County. In the east, residents in the San Joaquin Valley community of Merced were under flood warnings.
Meanwhile, in the mountainous areas of the Sierra Nevadas, people were plagued by wet roads, snow, and whiteout conditions.
On Saturday morning, the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted that it had received over 21 inches of snow in 24 hours. They also believed its current snowpack of about 10 feet was expected to increase by several more feet in the coming days.
Additionally, officials issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area.
Before several atmospheric rivers had resulted in massive rainfall and snow in California since the beginning of 2023. The storms shut off power to thousands, caused damage to roads, created sinkholes, and triggered landslides.
Sadly, at this time, at least 19 storm-related fatalities have occurred. In addition, a young boy is still missing after being swept away by raging flood waters in San Luis Obispo County.