Record rains hit California, leaving 1 person dead and several missing

sar operations november 9 2022 ontario fire department california f

A powerful storm hit California on November 8, 2022, bringing record-breaking rains, snow, and at least 1 tornado. The storm left one person dead and several others missing. This was the wettest start of November in nearly 20 years for many locations across the state.

NWS San Diego reported impressive 3-day precipitation totals, including 244.1 mm (9.61 inches) in Middle Fork, Lytle Creek at an elevation of 1.1 km (3 740 feet). The weather station in San Sevaine (elevation 1.7 km / 5 651 feet) registered 193 mm (7.60 inches), and Palomar Observatory (elevation 1.7 km / 5 560 feet) 174.5 mm (6.87 inches).

Daily rainfall records were broken in numerous locations:

Sandberg registered 91.9 mm (3.62 inches), breaking the record of 10.9 mm (0.43 inches) set in 2002; Los Angeles Airport measured 33.2 mm (1.31 inches), breaking the record of 33 mm (1.3 inches) set in 1998; Bob Hope Airport in Burbank 24.9 mm (0.98 inches), breaking the record of 16.7 mm (0.66 inches) set in 1979; Lancaster 12.9 mm (0.51 inches), breaking the record of 10.1 mm (0.4 inches) in 2002; Palmdale Airport 7.8 mm (0.31 inches), breaking the record of 5.5 mm (0.22 inches) set in 1979; San Diego 16.2 mm (0.64 inches), breaking the record of 13.2 mm (0.52 inches) in 1946.

Other records include Oceanside Harbor with 23.1 mm (0.91 inches), breaking the record of 16.2 mm (0.64 inches) set in 1979; Lake Elsinore 17.7 mm (0.70 inches), breaking the record of 15.2 mm (0.6 inches) set in 1905; Ramona 23.3 mm (0.92 inches), breaking the record of 12.9 mm (0.51 inches) set in 1998; and Big Bear 67.3 mm (2.65 inches), breaking a record of 48.5 mm (1.91 inches) set in 2020.

Heavy snow was reported at higher elevations, including 150 – 200 mm (6 – 8 inches) recorded at Bear Mountain Snow Summit (2.1 km / 7 100 feet), 100 mm (4 inches) at Mountain High, Barton Flats, Big Bear Yard, and Green Valley Lake. Other areas saw between 12.5 – 75 mm (0.5 and 3 inches) of snow.

Ahead of the storm, evacuation orders were issued for residents living near El Dorado and Apple fire burn scars in Yucaipa — affecting the communities of Oak Glen, Forest Falls, Mountain Home Village, Angelus Oaks, and Northeast Yucaipa.

According to initial reports made by the Ontario Fire Department, 6 people were swept away by floodwaters in a canal running through the city. The department confirmed one fatality and 2 missing people. However, as new information came in on Wednesday, the number of people likely missing rose to 4. Five people were rescued.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a tornado touched down at 13:40 PST on the east side of Highway 99 near Arno Road, between Galt and Elk Grove in Sacramento County. The twister blew off a tin roof on a barn and took down power lines. No injuries have been reported.

The tornado had a path of around 1.28 km (0.8 miles) and a width of around 365 m (400 yards).

Featured image credit: Ontario Fire Department

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