Dear Tom,
I used to live in the Chicago area but from there to the Los Angeles area. We never had a hurricane in southern California. Why?
Philip Norstrand, Torrance, California

Warm, moist air over tropical oceans provides the energy that drives hurricanes, and storm development requires sea temperatures of at least 80 degrees. Ocean temperatures off southern California rarely rise above the 60s—extremely cool for hurricanes. Hurricanes over the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Mexico will gradually reduce to rainstorms if they are moved as far north as California. On September 25, 1939, a tropical storm made landfall near Los Angeles. Known as El Cordonazo, it brought heavy rain to Los Angeles and southern California. Los Angeles recorded 5.62 inches of rain.


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