Possible Tornado Reported in Montebello; Several Buildings Damaged
Several buildings in Montebello suffered significant damage from a strong microburst on Wednesday, with witnesses describing it as a possible tornado. The incident occurred near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Vail Avenue and resulted in portions of rooftops being torn off industrial structures, with debris swirling in the air.
Although the National Weather Service had issued a brief tornado warning in southwestern Los Angeles County the previous night, no such warning was in effect when the powerful winds hit Montebello on Wednesday morning.
The Los Angeles office of the National Weather Service confirmed that it would send a survey team to Montebello to evaluate the damage following reports of possible tornado damage. A similar team had already been dispatched to the Carpinteria area, which had sustained damage the night before that may have been the result of a small tornado or landspout.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported in Montebello, although cell phone videos from the area showed the extent of the damage. Portions of rooftops were ripped away, and vehicles in the parking lot of affected buildings sustained heavy damage, including shattered windows and body damage from flying debris.
Unfortunately, the incident caused significant damage to the affected buildings and vehicles. The aftermath videos revealed that some cars had their rear bumpers ripped away, and several others had significant dents and scratches from the debris. The exact extent of the damage and the number of affected buildings and vehicles are yet to be confirmed.
Microbursts are short-lived, localized downdrafts that can produce damaging straight-line winds, often with gusts exceeding 100 mph. They can occur in thunderstorms and are usually associated with thunderstorm activity.
Tornadoes, on the other hand, are violent, rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. While microbursts can cause significant damage, they are not as powerful as tornadoes.
The National Weather Service advises people to stay indoors and away from windows during severe weather conditions, such as thunderstorms and tornadoes. It is essential to monitor weather reports and heed any warnings or advisories issued by the authorities.