A damage survey team from the National Weather Service concluded it was a tornado that went through Carpinteria Tuesday night, with winds reaching 75 mph.
“A weak, narrow tornado briefly touched down in the Sandpiper Village mobile home park in Carpinteria on the evening of Tuesday, March 21, 2023,” according to a release from the National Weather Service.
The tornado’s strong winds damaged more than two dozen structures in the Sandpiper Village mobile home park.
As Noozhawk previously reported, at about 6 p.m., firefighters responded to the Sandpiper Mobile Home Park at 3950 Via Real, where they discovered multiple carports, awnings and roofs that had been ripped apart by the wind.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado had an EF rating of zero, meaning that winds were between 65 mph and 85 mph.
The tornado likely originated over the water and moved onshore, the National Weather Service said.
It is believed to have been on the ground 1-2 minutes, and cut a swath roughly 25 yards wide and about a half mile long.
The type of tornado was a landspout, which forms near the ground while thunderstorm clouds are still growing, Rose Schoensled with the National Weather Service told Noozhawk.
The tornado took down several trees in the Carpinteria Cemetery District behind Sandpiper Village, and damaged a nearby greenhouse as well, said Greg Fish, fire chief for the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District.
Some residents captured video of the swirling, damaging winds and shared them with KEYT.
People in Carpinteria experienced extreme weather that damaged 26 mobile homes! @NewsChannel312 @TracyLehrNews #CAwx #StormWatch pic.twitter.com/spTpDNEEYB
— Ryder Christ (@RyderChristNews) March 22, 2023
On Wednesday, the NWS also investigated a possible tornado reported in Montebello in Los Angeles County.
Though this week’s storm only dropped around 2 inches of rain, there were countywide reports of downed trees, fallen power lines and power outages, said Capt. Scott Safechuck of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Large amounts of rain following a drought result in more brittle trees, causing their branches to break more easily during a storm, Safechuck said.
In addition, the soil saturation and heavy winds lead to an increased potential for trees to uproot, which is why so many fell during this storm, he said.
Safechuck said the Fire Department was expecting these conditions and had increased staffing levels throughout the county to assist with rescues in the event of an emergency.
“Throughout the county we have resources patrolling and keeping an eye on our rivers and in our creeks, and with emphasis or a heightened focus in the Sisquoc, Santa Ynez, Buellton area with the river going through Santa Ynez River, as well as the Guadalupe area,” Safechuck said.
In the event that power lines get knocked near resident’s houses, Safechuck said to survey the area carefully.
“Look up, look down and look around before you start walking around those areas because we don’t want anyone getting electrocuted,” Safechuck said. “Especially by downed power lines that might be covered by vegetation from trees.”
The wet weather is supposed to last through Wednesday before the county gets a chance to dry out over the weekend.