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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 42  |  May 26, 2020

Dennis’ Tidbits


November 29, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Dennis 5Here at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, it’s raining like crazy with SSE winds up to 25 mph. So far this storm has dropped 1.31 inches of rain with an additional 1.5 inches expected when all is said and done. November’s average rainfall is about 1.2 inches, so we’ll probably end up with double or more rainfall for the month. The barometer is down to 1,000 millibars. 

This Thanksgiving storm is the most active since Thanksgiving of 1981. The entire state is under winter’s wrath thanks to a bomb cyclone that intensified off the Coast. Bomb cyclones are quite rare out here in the West. This phenomenon is reserved mostly to the Eastern Seaboard in the form of nor’easters during their winters. A bomb cyclone is any area of low pressure that intensifies more than 24 millibars in the span of 24 hours including tropical systems. This storm intensified a whopping 45 millibars in that span, dropping from 1,007 millibars to 962 millibars, the same central pressure as some Category 2 or 3 hurricanes. That low of pressure out here is very extreme for our coast.

Snow amounts statewide have been off the charts with tons of powder from Mt. Shasta up north all the way down to Big Bear here in Southern California with snow levels dropping to as low as 1,500 ft. in some areas. All skiing and snowboarding resorts are really excited about the powder which has measured over four feet of new snow.

There is also some strong convective activity as warm, moist tropical air from the southwest is converging with the very cold, unstable air from the northwest. Lightning struck a plane as it was taking off from the Fresno Airport with a funnel cloud reported just east of the city. Strong lightning and thunder has been reported up in Santa Barbara County with several waterspouts seen in Ventura County with a wind gust of 62 mph during one of the thunderstorms near Camarillo. 

Heavy hail was also reported in some of these thunderstorms with heavy snow even in the Santa Barbara Mountains down to 1,500 ft. Heavy snow is also falling in our upper deserts in Palmdale, Apple Valley, and Joshua Tree. Blizzard conditions are happening in some of our local mountains all the way down to the San Diego Mountains. Right now a line of strong thunderstorms extends from near San Clemente Island through Oceanside. Don’t be surprised if there are some healthy waterspouts popping out of some of those cells.

This hyperactive weather reminds me of what went down back on Thanksgiving of 1981 when strong to severe thunderstorms erupted that afternoon from Santa Barbara to San Diego thanks to a very strong upper level low just off our coast. All in all there were 14 waterspouts off Orange County alone and seven were reported off San Diego County. All were EF-0 events except for two, which were classified as EF-1 and both made landfall. The one in Orange County formed off Corona del Mar and moved southward about a mile offshore but then stormed ashore just south of Aliso Beach Pier doing some damage to some beachfront roofs with winds up to 90 mph. The one in San Diego suddenly took a turn and began moving up the harbor and in doing so, sucked up a bunch of fish as they rained all over the downtown area. Crazy, eh?

This storm is expected to move east by Friday afternoon but an equally as strong storm is aiming at our state around Sunday or Monday. Welcome to winter! 

Have a great weekend and keep warm! No flops and shorts this time around! ALOHA!


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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