Tropical Storm Kay breaks heat and rain records across Southern California
A second-level low that stalled over Southern California late Wednesday became Tropical Storm Kay, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The storm is expected to head northward over the water on Thursday with sustained wind speeds reaching 55 miles per hour — the strongest category on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale. But its path is still evolving as it approaches Friday’s landfall in southern California.
The National Weather Service offices are encouraging people to remain vigilant for potential disruptions, such as power outages and damage to public transportation.
More than 50 people were reported missing in the wake of the hurricane’s heavy rain and high winds, and one person was found dead Thursday morning in his bed on an off-island resort. Officials were still searching for at least seven others missing Thursday morning.
“This is a large storm, and we really need people to be alert, stay close to their homes and stay off the roads,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Johnson said.
In Southern California, high winds toppled power lines, including the single, high voltage line that had been downed during the January 2017 storm that left two people dead and caused a third to crash his car.
Winds of up to 70 miles per hour tore off branches from trees in neighborhoods across Los Angeles and neighboring Orange counties. Many people were caught by surprise, according to L.A. County Fire Department spokeswoman Christina Shiu.
“You don’t see it with your own eyes,” she said.
Power lines are common in Southern California, where there are many trees and lots of land under development. One line had been down for more than two decades.
By Thursday afternoon, the sun had broken through and was breaking records. The National Weather Service office in Los Angeles recorded a new daily high of 118 degrees in Long Beach.
A woman took a selfie on Wednesday at the record setting high temperature on the beach at Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, Calif. Photo: Reuters
A temperature of 113.7°F (45.8°C) was recorded at Los Alamitos Beach in Monterey Park on Wednesday, breaking the record from the