On September 25, 1939 “El Cordonazo” or “The Lash of St. Francis” a tropical storm, hit Southern California and causes the greatest September rainfall ever. The storm lost hurricane status shortly before moving onshore at San Pedro as a tropical storm. Torrential rains hit, with Los Angles getting 5.42” in 24 hours, and Mt. Wilson 11.60” both records for the month of September. 3.62” fell in Needles, 1.51” Palm Springs. Needles measured 8 and half inches of rain for the month of September 1939, about double the seasonal average. 45 were killed in floods all over Southern California, and 48 more were lost at sea with $2 million damage to structures along the coast and to crops. Rain from tropical systems are unusual but not rare in southern California, but this storm brought rains never seen before and it was the only tropical storm to make landfall in California in the twentieth century.
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