Tornadoes in RIVERSIDE COUNTY (CALIFORNIA)
May 29, 2008 4:17am CST
Is anyone on here a meteorologist? If so, would you explain why you believe that there were 4-5 tornados (including a twin tornado) in Riverside County (California). This kind of thing NEVER happens in California, and is not really ever supposed to happen here-more specifically in Moreno Valley where there are mountains and dry weather....very freaky!!!!!
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• Cambridge, England
29 May 08
I'm not a meteorologist, though I am interested. I understand that tornadoes tend to happen along the line of a weather front where two air masses - one warm and one cool - 'rub together', so to speak. I understand from a friend that this summer has been atypical in California (in LA, at least) and that it has been much cooler and wetter than in the past. This suggests to me that the normal pattern of air masses has shifted west somewhat and that this year there are likely to be more storms in the Western states. I haven't studied the weather patterns in detail but it's my impression that perhaps the Pacific currents are different this year and that this has a knock-on effect on where air masses happen to meet and therefore where storms happen. We have to realise that when we say something 'NEVER' happens, we actually mean 'hasn't been the norm in our memory/lifetime/last fifty/hundred/few hundred years' - a very short time span, comparitively! Also, it only takes a shift of air masses of a hundred or so miles to cause people to complain that they are seeing freak conditions and a tornado is always a much bigger thing to us ant-like humans than it really is on a global scale! Weather patterns ARE changing on a global scale - and that is undoubtedly due, in some measure, to how much YOU drive your car; how often YOU replace your refrigerator/sofas; how much meat YOU feel you need to buy (and therefore support the production of). The US has been somewhat behind the rest of the world in recognising the impact of our use of fossil fuel and our need for manufactured goods and our desire for quick protein, particularly beef. It is time that many US citizens began to listen to what the world is saying, rather than what some of their stuffy, self-assured, insular politicians pump out!