The National Weather Service issued a rare tornado warning for San Mateo County Friday as sudden storm conditions—including high winds and squalls—buffeted the region. The half-hour warning ended at 11:30 a.m., with no severe damage reported.
The warning, which came about because of a severe thunderstorm in the area, was issued for the cities of San Mateo, San Carlos, Redwood City, Millbrae, Foster City, Burlingame, Belmont, Hillsborough and Half Moon Bay, according to the weather service.
It was issued at about 11 a.m. as the weather service's radar system picked up signs of a severe thunderstorm and possible tornado approaching the coast, meteorologist Steve Anderson said. Ultimately, winds of 30-40 mph, a downpour of rain and pea-sized hail were reported, but not a tornado, Anderson said.
As of early Friday afternoon the heavy part of the storm had passed over the Peninsula, and "once it got over the Bay, it decreased in intensity rapidly," he said.
Earlier this morning, a funnel cloud actually did touch down in the North Bay, demolishing a structure at a landscaping business in west Santa Rosa, according to reports.
Sue Minnigerode, owner of the Sequoia Landscaping Materials, said she looked outside when she heard the wind howling around 9:45 a.m. and saw pieces of her 100-foot-long metal-framed shed fly onto nearby Pacific Avenue. Debris from the shed landed in nearby power lines and on properties three houses away, she said.
Rain is expected to continue this afternoon and tonight, with some thunderstorms expected to produce small hail. South winds will continue with gusts to around 45 mph and lows in the 40s.
Rain is likely for Saturday, with highs in the lower 50s.