Many southern California residents received an emergency alert on their phones at midnight this morning. Due to a night winter storm, the National Weather Service sent out tornado warning messages.

The full message said, "TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris."

The texts were sent out to residents in Santa Barbara and Orange County cities, including North Tustin, Garden Grove, Orange, Santa Ana, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Newport Beach.

According to The Orange County Register, the warning was canceled only ten minutes after it was sent out.

The National Weather Service followed up with the text messages in a post on social media that said, "The Tornado Warning for Orange County has been CANCELED. The storm has weakened and no longer poses a tornado threat."

Tornado warnings are rare in southern California. 

The National Weather Service issued the warning after observing a severe thunderstorm likely to produce a tornado moving through the eastern regions of Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Summerland around 10 pm PST on December 25. 

Weather experts also estimated hail the size of pennies to fall. According to ABC7, the weather warning area was estimated to cover a population of 23,000.

There was no major damage reported in Orange County cities as the storm passed through, dropping two and a half inches of rain in both Garden Grove and Huntington Beach.

Tornadoes aren't as rare in the Golden State as some might think. Last year, the San Diego Tribune reported southern California saw more tornadoes than Kansas and Oklahoma.

Narcity is following this story for additional information. Stay tuned for more details.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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