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Storm rolls through SoCal; funnel clouds spotted in Huntington Beach

February 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A new storm system rolled through Southern California, bringing quite a mix of weather. In Huntington Beach, funnel clouds were spotted.

One of three funnel clouds was captured in a photo by Huntington Beach Marine Safety Officer Claude Panis just after 7 a.m.

"It never reached the water, but it started kind of sucking things in the air. You could see it turned white in the middle, and it was just kind of an interesting fun thing to watch," Panis said.

Panis says the funnel clouds stayed about three miles offshore and lingered about 150 feet above the water.

A few hours later, rain started falling in many parts of the Southland. Depending on where you were, you either got a little damp with some drizzle or pounded with rain.

Randy Schafer, a service technician for Verizon, was watching the skies closely because his job can be dangerous during a storm.

"About an hour earlier, it was pouring like crazy," he said. "Climbing the poles, just don't want to get electrocuted. That's my biggest concern."

For others, the rain was more of a nuisance.

"We have practice today, and the fields are looking a little bit muddy right now," said Kelly Whitworth of Azusa.

But it's been a while since Southern California has seen any serious rainfall, so most agree, it's long overdue.

In Palmdale, a dusting of snow covered the 14 Freeway, causing several accidents.

"On the highway, a lot of accidents, right before Pear Blossom Highway, about six-car pileup," said Lawrence Henley of Palmdale.

For several hours, snow came down in the high desert. It was heavy at times creating visibility problems for some drivers.

"It's snowing pretty hard right now. I'm glad my truck has four-wheel drive," said Luke Malbry of Palmdale.