Recent tornadoes rare weather events for the Valley


Two tornadoes were confirmed in recent days.

Tornadoes are fairly unusual in the Central Valley, averaging about two a year.

Californa averages less than ten tornadoes in a year, while some Midwestern states get more than 60.

The most recent tornado occured close to 4:00 pm on Saturday February 2 in the Ben Hur area, which is south of Mariposa. It damaged some buildings and crushed grass and brush in a whirling pattern.

The Vally tends to see several tornadoes in active weather years, with no tornadoes in other years.
There were eight in 1996.

Most are brief and relatively weak.
The Enhanced Fujita scale rates the strength of tornadoes.

Enhanced Fujita RatingWind Speed (mph)
EF-5over 200

Three out of four tornadoes in the Valley fall in the weakest E-F-zero category.
22% are EF-1. 3% are rated EF-2.
No stronger tornadoes have ever been reported in the Valley.

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