Rare footage of 1939 tropical cyclone

1939_California_stormWe usually don’t think of southern California as prone to hurricanes or cyclones, but in late September 1939, following a heat wave of several days, a tropical cyclone moving up the Mexican coast made landfall in southern California, dumping over five inches of rain on Los Angeles and producing Force 11 gale winds. According to a NWS report:

The flooding killed 45 in Southern California, although some of these may be attributable to the rain immediately before the tropical storm. At sea, 48 were killed.

After a brief overview of the heat and approaching storm, you will see 16mm footage filmed from the east jetty of the Newport Harbor entrance and preserved by Al Adams for over fifty years. The footage begins at about 3:00 and you will see various vessels desperately attempting to reach the safety of the harbor. Here is … (more)