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June brings wintry chill

Tornado warning issued briefly in Placer
By: Associated Press
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YUBA CITY (AP) — The National Weather Service says a tornado has touched down in a rural area of Northern California as a fierce rainstorm whipped through the area. National Weather Service forecaster Kathy Hoaxie says local dispatchers and weather spotters reported the tornado about five miles north of Yuba City around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. She says there are no reports of damage. The twister struck not far from where three tornadoes touched down last week, destroying hundreds of acres of almond orchards. With storms and violent weather moving through the area, the weather service issued tornado warnings for parts of Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter and Yuba counties. Hoaxie says besides the tornado sighting, three-quarter inch hail was reported in the Folsom area, east of Sacramento. She says a funnel cloud was also reported to the west, over the city of Davis. Wednesday’s dumping of rain and hail had residents checking their calendars. Is this really the first day of June? Jeanni Young, a resident of Sun City Roseville, was making the meal for a dinner party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Rosenberg when the storm hit. “It started hailing the size of peas and I just bought a new car,” Young said. “I was panicking having the dinner to prepare, but I didn’t want my car in this hail, so they moved their car so I could park in the garage. Is that a friend or what?” Doppler radar and eyewitness accounts indicated lightning and a cluster of powerful thunderstorms dropping rain and hail up to one-half inch in diameter. While meteorologists say inclement weather is not uncommon this time of year, many residents are left puzzled with the official start of summer less than three weeks away. “I’m beginning to wonder what planet we’re on,” Young said. The National Weather Service reports partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the low 70s Thursday and Friday, and a 40 percent chance of rain over the weekend. 4 reported dead after tornadoes in Mass. Four people died Wednesday when at least at least two tornadoes swept through western and central parts of the state, Massachusetts’ governor said. Gov. Deval Patrick said two people died in Westfield, one in West Springfield, and one in. He had no details about those killed. The storms did extensive damage in Springfield, the state’s third largest city. Patrick said the path of damage from the first and more powerful of the two tornadoes extended from Westfield, just west of Springfield, and extended east to the community of Douglas. He said the second, slightly less powerful, tornado cut a path from West Springfield all the way to Sturbridge in the central part of the state. Patrick declared a state of emergency and called up 1,000 National Guardsmen. The storms also caused an unknown number of injuries and extensive damage. Patrick said the death total was preliminary. The storm hit the Springfield area after a tornado watch was issued for much of the East Coast, including Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Michelle Carl and Toby Lewis contributed to this report.