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View Poll Results: Which is more likely to have a freak tornado outbreak?
Los Angeles 9 56.25%
Seattle 7 43.75%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-27-2013, 10:30 AM
 
Location: HERE
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Severe weather is rare on the West Coast of the U.S. Even "rainy" Seattle rarely gets truly heavy rain and gets its reputation from nonstop drizzle. Miami gets a lot more rain per year than Seattle but Miami's rain comes in the form of thunderstormy downpours proceeded and preceeded by sunshine on most days. In Miami, "Out comes the sun and dries out all the rain, and the Miami people go out to play at the beach again." In Seattle, you stay inside and watch it drizzle, drizzle, drizzle and rarely see the sun from October through May. When it's not raining, it's usually cloudy outside of summer.

Los Angeles has a well deserved reputation for being semi-arid due to only around 35 days of measurable rain each year and an average of 15 inches with many years having less than 10 inches. Usually no rain at all from May through October (spare an occasional monsoonal shower in late summer once every couple of years). Winters usually have 5 or 6 rainy days a month with the rest of the days still being sunny.

Here's a surprising fact about Seattle's rain. When you divide the number of rain days into the yearly total, the average yield is less rain per day than when you divide Los Angeles's number of rainy days into their yearly total.

Seattle: 37 inches of rain per year/154 rainy days= 0.24 inches per rainy day.
Los Angeles: 15 inches of rain year/35 rainy days= 0.42 inches per rainy day.

Both cities have very little "dangerous" weather. Seattle is known for gloomy and Los Angeles is known for sunny but neither one has to worry about severe thunderstorms, dangerous winds, tornadoes, etc. I still think it's climatologically possible for either city to get a get a tornado outbreak; just very unlikely.

I know tornadoes are freakishly rare on the West Coast compared to the midwest or even East Coast but if a freak tornado outbreak happened on the west coast, is it more likely happen in Los Angeles or Seattle?

Last edited by AdriannaSmiling; 10-27-2013 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: In transition
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I'm going to say Seattle by a small margin for a couple of reasons.
1) It's not directly on the Pacific, and so doesn't benefit as much as LA does from the Pacific currents to make it more stable (compare Seattle to Long Beach, WA). I think Long Beach gets even less thunderstorms/snow etc. than Seattle.

2) Seattle being more northerly is much more affected by cold fronts and arctic waves. If these clash in just the right way, then it in theory could spawn tornadoes but most of the time the Cascades provide a barrier, so it becomes much less likely. In the the case of LA, not only do they have the coastal mountains to protect them, they are much further south, so the cold fronts are a lot weaker when they do reach them if they reach them at all.

That's my two cents..
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Northville, MI
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I have to say parts of LA are more likely to experience large variations in weather patterns. Eastern LA near Ontario can see drastic variations in weather conditions during the summer. Very Hot and dry air from the desert has the possibility of clashing with cool and wet air from the pacific over this area. This could lead to the formation of an interesting vortex. if wind directions are right. Seattle rarely sees hot air with cold air clashes, and so the possibility of tornadoes is much lower. Its the same hot and muggy clashing with Cool and dry, but the humidity conditions are reversed.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:56 AM
 
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: HERE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagogeorge View Post

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I bet all of those happened during an El Nino year when the subtropical jet is more active and somehow collided with a low dropping from the Gulf of Alaska. In Seattle, the rainfall is pretty much around the same amount every year. In Southern California, El Nino brings double or sometimes even triple the rainfall they get during non El Nino years.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Miami,FL
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I'll take miami easily.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdriannaSmiling View Post
Severe weather is rare on the West Coast of the U.S. Even "rainy" Seattle rarely gets truly heavy rain and gets its reputation from nonstop drizzle. Miami gets a lot more rain per year than Seattle but Miami's rain comes in the form of thunderstormy downpours proceeded and preceeded by sunshine on most days.

I know tornadoes are freakishly rare on the West Coast compared to the midwest or even East Coast but if a freak tornado outbreak happened on the west coast, is it more likely happen in Los Angeles or Seattle?
Thanks for the clarification on the Seattle "rain." So many are misinformed. I spent many years in FL and GA and the rain here is NOTHING like the rain there... as you said, here it's a drizzle.

Tornadoes? I'd have to say LA. The numbers don't lie. Honestly I am more worried about Mt. Rainier waking up than I am about a tornado.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post
Honestly I am more worried about Mt. Rainier waking up than I am about a tornado.
I would be too.



We have our fair share of tornadoes of course.


Here are the numbers of strong to violent tornadoes per decade (EF2+).




Most occur April, May and June. February is the only month that has not seen a tornado touch down here.

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Old 10-29-2013, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Rocky Mountain Xplorer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagogeorge View Post
I would be too.



We have our fair share of tornadoes of course.


Here are the numbers of strong to violent tornadoes per decade (EF2+).




Most occur April, May and June. February is the only month that has not seen a tornado touch down here.
Those stats aren't just meaningless they are surely very misleading when you consider the interest of people and technology available in contemporary times vs what it was historically.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Buxton UK
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I would say Seattle. It has more frontal incursions and a higher number of annual thunderstorm days to begin with. Most tornadoes (that are bad) are associated with strong frontal passages.
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