Tornado spotted Thursday in Sonoma County for first time in more than decade
Matthew Beat thought he had seen his last tornado after he moved to the North Bay from Texas eight years ago.
He was in for a surprise Thursday.
“I was thinking about closing the overhead doors because the rain was starting,” said Beat who was working at a power plant on Mecham Road in Petaluma. “I looked out and I was like wow, that is not normal.”
He watched at about 11:10 a.m. as what he believed was a funnel cloud started forming across the horizon, seemingly hovering over the unincorporated Sonoma County community of Two Rock, northwest of Petaluma.
The Santa Rosa resident pulled out his phone and started recording video.
He sent the video to The Press Democrat, which then confirmed with the National Weather Service that it in fact was a tornado.
It lasted about two minutes and went relatively unnoticed, not having any verifiable impact on land and no other reports of it into the weather service as of the afternoon.
Thursday’s twister was the first spotted in Sonoma County since March 28, 2011, when an EF1 tornado destroyed a metal building and severely bent a metal gate in Santa Rosa, National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Sarment said.
The Enhanced Fujita scale classifies the intensity of tornadoes, ranging from EF0 to EF5, with EF5 being the most severe.
The 2011 tornado occurred amid a six-day storm of heavy rain, strong winds and high surf, during which two people were killed.
You can reach Staff Writer Madison Smalstig at email@example.com. On X (Twitter) @madi.smals.