SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — Two tornadoes struck the city of Santa Cruz Sunday and caused damage, according to preliminary information from the National Weather Service.
Both were waterspouts that came ashore around midday with one crossing the Santa Cruz Wharf and the other crossing West Cliff Drive just west of Woodrow Avenue.
Meteorologist Will Pi said that it’s rare for a waterspout to come onshore in the Santa Cruz area.
He said tornadoes are a little more frequent in the Watsonville area.
The first tornado had estimated peak winds of 65 to 70 mph, a path of 125 yards and a width of 20 feet, weather officials said.
No one was killed or injured.
It started at 11:59 a.m. and lasted two minutes.
Weather officials said the tornado picked up a construction sign and tossed it into the mailbox across the street. It toppled two cacti before hitting two trees and stripping them of several small and large limbs before dissipating.
The second tornado had estimated peak winds of 80 to 85 mph, a path of 95 yards and a width of 20 feet. Again no one was killed or injured.
Weather officials said it started at 12:19 p.m. and lasted just one minute. It crossed the wharf striking the Dolphin Restaurant and stripped away about 35 percent of the roof.
Weather officials said the general manager of the restaurant said it felt as if an earthquake struck the restaurant during the busiest part of the lunch hour.
The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into six categories. The two that hit Sunday were identified as EF0 or “weak.” An EF1 tornado has winds of 86 to 110 mph and is also considered “weak.”
The strongest tornadoes are EF5, which have winds greater than 200 mph, according to weather officials.
A waterspout was also spotted off of Santa Cruz Sunday afternoon. The NWS Bay Area Twitter account posted video of the spout.