A twister in Roseville touched down about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, causing a few panicked moments.
Witnesses said the twister struck in a neighborhood, kicked up a picnic bench, threw around debris and blew out the windows out of a home.
"I saw debris fly in the air and the tiles from my roof fell down," said Bianca Marteja, a Roseville resident. "I got super freaked out and I ran to the closet."
No one was hurt, but a dozen homes suffered roof damage.
The National Weather Service confirmed that it was a tornado, not a funnel cloud, which does not make contact with the ground. Preliminary reports estimate the winds to have been between 65 and 85 mph.
A tornado also touched down in Ordbend, in Glenn County. KNTV said there are reports of at least four twisters, which are rare for California.
Northern California is expected to have wild weather through the weekend, including thunderstorms and heavy winds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.