But the rash of foul weather probably won't do much to help the state's drought.

Southern California is a special place where the weather's so sunny and pleasant that a spritz of rain can mean gridlock on the highways. So imagine the excitement these past couple days as powerful storms rode into town, dropping ice on the beaches and churning up ethereal funnel clouds.

Photographer Brian Hawkins caught Sunday's pair of funnels spinning off the coast of Redondo Beach in Los Angeles County. Shown above, they look like half-formed water spouts—whipping columns of air and mist that are generally weaker than tornadoes. Squished between them in the distance is a solitary sailboat that was "booking it across the water," writes Hawkins.

Observers on nearby Catalina Island spotted at least one waterspout:

Hawkins reports the funnels were extinguished after about five minutes. But then, on Monday, somebody spotted this wormy apparition in the clouds. Meteorologist Jim Cantore calls it a funnel cloud, though another guy thinks it's more likely a scud cloud. (Another witness verifies a funnel was definitely in the neighborhood.)

What's less in dispute is the white stuff covering Huntington Beach on Monday. It's not snow, but a carpet-bombing of small hailstones:

Just to make a note of it, this rash of foul weather will probably have little effect on California's drought, which is presently afflicting 93 percent of the state.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  2. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks at Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

  3. At an NBA game, a player attempts to block a player from the rival team who has the ball.
    Life

    NBA Free Agents Cluster in Superstar Cities, Too

    Pro basketball follows the winner-take-all geography of America as a whole, with free agents gravitating to New York, L.A., and other big cities.

  4. A house with a for sale sign.
    Perspective

    Why Are Zoning Laws Defining What Constitutes a Family?

    It’s wrong to exclude safe uses of housing because of who belongs to a household. Like family law, zoning ordinances should prioritize functional families.

  5. a photo collage of 2020 presidential candidates.
    Equity

    Will Housing Swing the 2020 Election?

    Among Democratic candidates for president, the politics of America’s housing affordability crisis are getting complicated. Just wait until Trump barges in.

×