Severe storms popped up again in our inland areas on Friday bringing heavy rain, strong winds and hail. That prompted the National Weather Service to issue Flash Flood Warnings during the afternoon.
Last Sunday was also a reminder that here in Southern California do get Severe Weather from time to time. A Tornado was confirmed near Perris during the afternoon. Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries, just a few power lines down and roofs damaged from the gusty winds.
Severe Studios Storm Chaser Will Wilkens of Lake Elsinore was in the area at the time and snapped a picture of a lowering dark cloud to the northeast he believes eventually dropped the tornado 10 minutes later.
To the west, his friend and neighbor Tom Halderman was on the west side of the storm and took a series of pictures of a funnel cloud around the time of the tornado confirmation.
Severestudios.com is a leader in live severe weather streaming. You likely have watched their videos online of Tornadoes in the South during the spring. They represent 45 professional media storm chasers across the U.S. There are 3 or 4 here in Southern California/Southwest. They not only cover Severe Storms - but Flooding, Mudslides, Fires, etc.
Using technology and processes perfected by SevereStudios, storm chasers are able to stream live video while actively chasing storms to the SevereStudios Live ChaseCam Network. These Live ChaseCam feeds can then be viewed by local, national, and world-wide media, the National Weather Service, and our website visitors.
We hooked up with Will Wilkens today on Studio 11 LA at 5:00 p.m. Will was in the Lake Elsinore area watching his mobile radar in a specially equipped vehicle sending back a live stream. Wouldn't you know it. At 5:00 p.m. the storm had cleared, but earlier it was rally coming down with the threat of severe weather looming.
Storm Chasing is not an exact science, just like the Weather. I've done my share in Texas and Oklahoma in Tornado Alley. Guy's like Will (I'm told who does have a normal job) do it because they love it. It is most importantly a public service, but for them it's a labor of love.
Will is no stranger to Southern California. He chase's extreme weather in Southern California all year, tornadoes in the Plains during spring, and in Arizona during the summer monsoons. Each day brings new adventures, most often discovered alone after driving hundreds of miles.
Again this time of year, it's the surge of monsoonal moisture from the south that brings the threat of thunderstorms, heavy rain, flooding, debris flow, gusty winds, hail and yes even Tornadoes.
We do our best at FOX 11 in the Weather Department to keep you up-to-date on the latest Weather conditions 24/7. But often it's your eyes that can help us do an even better job.
Southern California is full of trained weather spotters. The National Weather Service in Oxnard and San Diego offer free training programs. Of course, often all you need is a cell phone camera and you can send your pictures directly to us.
So next time weather breaks, don't forget to turn to FOX 11. Also you may just want to log on to the Live Storm Chase Video Network. We never know where Will and his other storm chasers might show up.
Finally, Check out our LIVE BREAKING NEWS FEED - on Saturday as Will goes storm chasing in the Inland Empire. Looks to be an active day once again.