A weak tornado struck in western Kern County Monday, about 135 miles northwest of Los Angeles, the National Weather Service confirmed.
Video and photos surfaced of a twister moving just before noon through hills in the area of Taft. Multiple witnesses sent in images to BakersfieldNow.com, home to the Fox and CBS affiliates in Bakersfield.
Video provided to the stations and to KTLA by witness Dennis Ellis showed the tornado whirling above the hills.
The National Weather Service’s Hanford Office, which monitors Kern County, first said it was investigating the images and then later confirmed a “weak tornado” has struck in the western portion of the county.
The cold-core funnel cloud touched down about 10 miles south-southeast of Blackwell’s Corner (map) at 11:40 a.m., the weather service later said. It lasted about 10 minutes and was 150 feet wide, making a path about a half-mile long, according to federal forecasters.
The tornado was classified as a landspout because it was not associated with a thunderstorm and was given the weakest tornado category designation, EF0.
On its Facebook page, the office posted a photo of the twister, saying the “apparent tornado” had appeared over the Belridge area south of Lost Hills.
The area where the cloud touched down is about 45 miles west-northwest of Bakersfield, or about 135 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
— S Essary (@SandraEssary) February 23, 2015