Weather Events in Horsethief Canyon
Worth Remembering

Summer Thunderstorms over HCR - August 1st, 2017

Very juicy air (68 deg DP) and high temps (103 deg) gave rise to convection along the ECZ. It migrated directly over HCR which caused flash flooding where the poppie fields are off Lake Street, closing the 3 right lanes of the 15 northbound where the mud and debrie came on to the freeway.  Mark Cowan was getting home and driving up Hostettler and was hit by fast rising water, pushing his car into the fence and filling his car with water up to his chest. Peak rate was 8.6" per hour (between 3:50 & 3:55), a new record! From 3:45 to 4:00 we had peak gusts from 47 to 50 mph within every 5 minute interval. We measured 1.04" of rain within that same time, in only 15 minutes!!! 0.64" fell in 10 minutes, between 3:50 and 4:00. Note that with the 50 mph winds during the heavy rain, the totals may have been much higher. Total for the storm was 1.46"

Radar, Precipitation Estimates, Wind Gust, Rain Rate, Station Data

Video Sequence by Time:  3:43, 3:45, 3:52, 3:54, 3:55, 3:56

Summer Thunderstorms - with rotation - August 12th, 2012

Chased convection along the Elsinore Convergence Zone (ECZ). Willi Wilkins drove into the core and had cloud-to-ground lightning around him with heavy rain. I stayed back near Lake Elsinore, on Alber Hill, watching it from a distance. I saw a funnel cloud develop to the right of the rainshaft and took pictures, shown here.
Funnel cloud:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.  (My favorite is #3)
Short video clips of funnel: 1, 2.
Here is the line of sight map showing the direction of the funnel from my vantage point: map.
Time of pictures are from around 4:25pm to 4:35pm on Sunday, 8/12/2012

A Cold Storm - February 26th, 2011

A cold storm moved down the coast with the forcast of snow to very low elevations. San Francisco had snow for the first time in 35 years. Most of the moisture was gone when the cold arrived in Corona, but we did squeeze out one small flurry. Here is a video of my headlights shining on snow falling up in Lemon Grove.   Click Here   The temperature was about 39 degrees. None of the snow was sticking to the ground.

A Rainy Week - December 16th - 23rd, 2010

This 8 days of rain was the result of the "Pineapple Express" (MJO) originating just SW of Hawaii and remaining stationary over central and southern California for 8 days. Lydle Creek had a wopping 28" of rain for the 8 days. Our total was 12.92". Click Here to see a weeks worth of data for the event.

Storm Totals for Week:  Day 1: 0.16"
   Day 2: 0.05"
   Day 3: 0.36"
   Day 4: 0.41"
   Day 5: 1.32"
   Day 6: 5.08"
   Day 7: 4.78"
   Day 8: 0.76"
Manual Gauge Total for week (Most Accurate)   12.92"
Automatic Gauge Total for week.   11.39"

A Stormy Week - Record Low Atmospheric Pressure - January 21st, 2010

The week of January 20th, 2010 brought us a series of storms driven into Southern California by a very strong low latitude jet stream. Moisture was being fed into this jet stream from the tropics near the Philippines - where a mild El Nino had warmed the tropical waters. It combined with very cold air pouring down from the Bearing Sea. The fourth storm in the series brought record low atmospheric pressure to Southern California. This possibility had been predicted by the San Diego NWS a week before the rains even began. They must be feeling pretty good about their forecast. Below is the rain history and lowest EVER recorded air pressure at several spots. In addition my detailed weather station data can be viewed by clicking here. The peak wind speed during this event was 48 mph - as measured by my analogue anemometer. My digital anemometer measured a peak gust of 44 mph.

Storm Totals for Week:  Day 1: 0.33"
   Day 2: 1.48"
   Day 3: 1.34"
   Day 4: 1.92"
   Day 5: 3.19"
   Day 6: 0.67"
Manual Gauge Total for week (Most Accurate)   8.93"
Automatic Gauge Total for week.   8.14"

Lowest Sea Level Pressure EVER recorded in Southern California on 1/21/2010
   HaldermanHome Weather Station:  29.04" (old record 29.44" in 2008)
  March Air Reserve Base: 29.08"                                             
  Ontario Int. Airport: 29.05"                                                       
 Los Angeles Int. Airport: 29.07" (old record 29.25" in 1988)
San Diego's Int. Airport: 29.15" (old record 29.37" in 1983)

HCR Snow Event - December 17th, 2008 - Pictures from day after also

Snow fell all the way down to the 15 freeway. At the top of HCR, especially Lemon Grove, snow was sticking very well. Snowboarders came out and went down the streets. Driving became tricky on the steep hill at the top of Lemon Grove

Corner of Indian Creek and Palomino Creek Dr.(By Mrs. Oelke) - Picture 1
Snow Falling on Lemon Grove at the top of Horsethief Canyon (By Mr. Wilkens) - Picture 2
Lemon Grove at the top of Horsethief Canyon (By Mr. Wilkens) - Picture 3
Luiseno looking out the front door (By Mrs. Marcello) - Picture 4
Luiseno from across the street (By Mrs. Marcello) - Picture 5
Snow on Luiseno Grass (By Mrs. Marcello) - Picture 6
Estelle Mountain Panorama (By Tom Harkins) - Picture 7
Santa Ana Mountains Panorama (By Tom Harkins) - Picture 8
Picture from Luiseno parking lot, looking across soccer field to the hills (By DeAnn Appleby) - Picture 9

(May 22, 2008 - Luiseno Open House Storm)
Mesocyclone Spawning Tornadoes while
Moving Across Inland Empire
(Visible Satellite Loop)

The heaviest rain I have ever recorded - instantaneous peak rate of 6.55 inches / hour - see data table. Lowest recorded air pressure (SLP: 29.40, Altimeter: 29.44). Multiple tornadoes spawned near March Air Force Base and Perris - some visible from HCR in this picture and video. Ten train box cars were overturned and a semi flipped - which almost became the first fatality due to a tornado in California. This picture captured the moment. NWS categorized the tornado as an EF2. The first EF2 recorded in California since the Enhanced Fujita Scale started being used. Enjoy the pictures below.

Tornado from HCR (by Tom Halderman) - Video 1 (4 MB)
Unfortunately it didn't turn out very good - look hard!!!
Entire Video Clip - Video 2 (38 MB)

From HCR (by Tom Halderman) - Picture 1
Possible Locations of funnel sited from HCR - Picture 2
Weather Data Recorded During Event - Picture 3
Wall Cloud Pictures from HCR (by Tom Halderman) - Wall 0, Wall 1, Wall 2, Wall 3, Wall 4

AWESOME Media Pictures!!
My Personal Favorite - Crossing Freeway with Flipped Big Rig Visible - Picture 4
Near Freeway - Picture 5,   Picture 6,   Picture 7, Picture 8

In the Distance - Picture 9
Ghost View - Picture 10, Picture 11
Twin Funnels - Picture 12

(November, 2007)
Cut-off Low over Baja California

A cut-off low hovered 500 miles off the tip of Baja and moved northward over southern california. As it approached, it interacted with a rather dry, but cold, frontal boundary. This interaction caused a surface low to develop quickly right over S.C. as it approached from the south. We got 2.07 inches of rain. The barometer dropped to 29.51" and then rebounded over the next two days to an all time high for HCR of 30.47. You can see the pressure profile by clicking here.


(September 2, 2007)
Horsethief Canyon Summer Thunderstorm and Downpour

A very intense thunderstorm hit, dropping 0.93" of rain in about an hours time. Tree damage was widespread in HCR - some older Eucalyptus trees near the horses on Temescal Canyon Road were broken in half by the microburst. A 45 mph max gust was recorded and a rain rate of 4.09"/hour occurred for over two minutes. Here is a link to the recorded event.   HCRStorm20070902

From HCR (by Willi Wilkens) - Picture 1
From HCR (by Willi Wilkens) - Picture 2
From Costa Mesa (by Kevin Martin, OWS) - Picture 3
From Orange (by Tom Halderman) - Picture 4

January 2007

January saw two records fall. A 53 mph wind gust beat the old record of 48 mph. Also, a very cold high pressure helped to break the low temperature record with a low of 25.2 °F


(Around January 1, 2007)
Land Spout off Nichols Road
Taken from Field at Temescal Canyon High School

Picture from Press Enterprise

Old Posts Shown Below


October, 2004:

Storms with high winds struck in October. A max wind gust of 48 mph was recorded on the 17th. This tied the previous peak wind gust ever recorded on my instrument back in the ’92-’93 storm season.

November, 2004:

Snow fell and stuck at the top of HCR on the 21st after a surprise storm brought a night of thunder, lightning, wind, rain, hail, sleet, and snow. A total of 1.13 inches of rain fell in the storm.

December, 2004:

Storms produced stiff winds similar to November, knocking more trees down in HTC.

January, 2005:

Lots and lots of rain. HTC Creek plus other creeks are now flowing across Temescal Canyon road.

February, 2005:

Heavy rain continued. This year is now in 3rd place for the wettest year in HCR since 1990. We have a ways to go to reach the 35.09” of 1992-93. As of 3/1/05, Lake Elsinore was seven inches away from overflowing into Temescal Canyon Wash. If that happens, the roads at the bottom of the hill will really get messy.

March, 2005:

The “faucet” turned off this month giving us a chance to dry out. Looks like the rainy season may be coming to an abrupt close.

April, 2005:

An unusually strong storm, for April, dumped 0.95” of rain in the morning hours of the 28th.

June, 2005:

Although the season’s total rainfall in L.A. was the second wettest in history, it was HCR’s third wettest, coming in at 29.49 inches.

July, 2005:

Summer monsoon season started. Severe thunderstorms were all around but not quite on top of HCR. Warmest night since 1990, 76 °F, was recorded.

September, 2005:

The 20th of the month brought the most spectacular, non-stop lightning show seen in my lifetime. Starting with a beautiful rainbow at sunset with forks of lightning seen in the background, the lightning didn’t stop until mid-morning the following day. A brief heavy downpour brought the monthly rainfall total to about a quarter of an inch.

October, 2005:

More thunderstorms formed in the latest early fall cutoff low. Most of the activity was toward L.A.

July, 2006:

Amazing monsoon flow occurred this month. Record high and record nighttime temperatures were set. Thunderstorms were plentiful and dropped .15” of rain. Although I recorded a high of 111.6 on my Oregon Scientific instrument, I believe I was about 2 degrees too warm since my home made radiation shield is not as good as it should be. My new Davis instrument runs about 2 degrees cooler - so I am logging 109.6 as my new high temp for that day.