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1981 Laguna Beach waterspout

1981 Laguna Beach waterspout

Nov. 26, 1981: Waterspout above Laguna Beach seen from Laguna Canyon Road looking toward the ocean.

This photo appeared in the Nov. 27, 1981, Los Angeles Times Orange County edition. An accompanying weather story reported:

The skies put on a spectacular Thanksgiving Day show for Orange County Thursday, from the beauty of cotton clouds tinted by the sunset to the awesome display of two waterspouts over Laguna Beach.

The whirlwinds, which descended from an isolated mass of black clouds offshore at mid-morning, touched down in the ocean and twisted toward downtown Laguna Beach. They ascended before reaching shore, however, and dissipated at an estimated altitude of 2,000 feet, barely causing a breeze on the sidewalks below, observers reported. …

Staff photographer Don Kelsen reported in his original caption, “this photo taken from Laguna Canyon on Laguna Canyon Rd. looking towards the ocean. Twister was gone before I got to coast.”

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