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Saturday, April 1, 2023 1:18 PM PDT

Tornado Warning Followed by Sighting

Posted February 19, 2005, 10:23 AM.

The National Weather Service issued tornado and thunderstorm warnings for southwestern Riverside County Saturday morning. A tornado was spotted in the Fallbrook and Temecula areas this morning, according to Jim Purpura, who is the meterologist-in-charge at NWS San Diego. It's currently unknown whether or not the funnel cloud touched ground.

"The storm produced a brief tornado near Fallbrook," said Purpura. "As it moved across Temecula I saw a wall cloud, briefly well defined. I also witnessed a funnel at 9:44 am 1 mile north of my location, and it was rain wrapped. I saw wrapping rain curtains down to the ground 1 mile north of my location."

The Fallbrook weather data feed (in the Winterwarm area of Fallbrook) went offline shortly after 9:30am, recording wind gusts to 52mph. It returned about an hour later after a power outage in the area. Some of the equipment was reportedly turned off as a precaution.

Heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightning, and quarter inch hail were reported in Hemet. Thunderstorms also caused heavy rainfall in Murrieta and in the Menifee Valley.

Purpura lives in Temecula's Redhawk area. "I could not confirm a tornadic circulation down to the ground."

If you have had similar experiences Saturday morning in the Fallbrook area or in southwestern Riverside County, please tell us. and NWS San Diego will cooperate to make sure any information you provide is shared.

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