An brief overview of last week’s Tropical Storm Odile

On Tuesday, September 16, Southern California experienced some very unusual weather. Tropical Storm Odile was several hundred miles south of San Diego, crossing the Baja California peninsula. The outer circulation of the storm produced southeasterly winds that made the San Diego area very hot and humid. Temperatures in the foothills and inland valleys exceeded 100 degrees. A shallow onshore breeze induced the intense heating converged with the southeasterly flow to produce intense convection and thunderstorms over the foothills. The thunderstorms were carried westward over coastal sections and virtually all of them became severe.
While the thunderstorms provided much needed rain and cooling, they were accompanied by damaging downburst winds that caused widespread damage. One severe thunderstorm moved over Montgomery Field Airport and damaged more than 20 planes, with 10 planes totaled. The winds went from 8 knots to about 56 knots in about one minute.