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Why did San Diego County get a Tornado Warning?

 February 8, 2024 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Erik Anderson, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, February 8th.


We break down what led to the Tornado Warning earlier this week.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


A military helicopter that had been missing in the rugged mountains outside of San Diego was found.

But search and rescue operations are still underway for the five marines who were on board.

Cleveland National Forest public affairs officer Nathan Judy describes the conditions in the area.

“It's very steep, very high mountains out here. So you have valleys and ridges that go for days and days. And then you throw some clouds on top of that and then some rain – it can be very dangerous to see some of these areas as well. Not just flying through, but also driving through.”

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is leading rescue operations, but multiple agencies, like the U-S Forest service, are helping with the effort.

The aircraft was found yesterday morning in Pine Valley.


Governor Newsom requested a Major Disaster Declaration from President Biden to support San Diego County after the recent storm.

The Presidential declaration would help San Diegans affected by flooding from the winter storms that happened between January 21st and January 23rd.

If approved, it would allow people impacted to be eligible for programs and support… including housing assistance, vehicle replacement, food aid, counseling, and medical and legal services.


There’s a chance of more rain and thunderstorms today.

The National Weather Service says it’s also expected to be windy, with gusts reaching up to 25 miles per hour in most parts of the county.

But in the desert areas, there’s a wind advisory in effect until 7 tonight (Thursday), where gusts could reach up to 55 miles per hour.

Temperatures in the inland valleys, coastal areas and deserts will be in the low to mid 50s, and in the mountains, temps will be in the low 30s.

More rain is expected tomorrow, and forecasters say clear skies should return this weekend.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


This week’s tornado warning surprised many county residents alerted to the potentially dangerous weather conditions.

Reporter Melissa Mae talked to a meteorologist about why the warning was issued.

MM: Some took to the social media platform X to express their thoughts on the warning…including this tweet from thelibbyweber saying, “Of all the things I was anticipating today, a tornado warning in east county (San Diego) was not one of them… MM: National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Adams describes what he saw. BA “Eventually it got to a point where the winds looked like they were strong enough to where there was enough rotation in the storm to where we were concerned that there was some tornadic potential.”  MM:  Adams says having multiple ways to access and receive weather information is the first step to being prepared for potentially dangerous weather. MM: Adams says there was no confirmation of a tornado touching the ground in San Diego. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


In a series of voice memos a San Diego Navy Seal says he made a deal with the Navy after an investigation cleared him of extremism allegations.

He also uses a slogan associated with a hate group.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer got the audio, and has the story.

Chief Special Warfare Operator Bryce Henson, Navy SEAL “God bless brothers, and, proud of your boy.” That’s navy seal chief bryce henson using the proud boys slogan “proud of your boy” in a voice memo shared sunday on the messaging app telegram. the navy’s investigation into henson began in november. the seal was frequently photographed in the company of alleged members of the proud boys hate group at school boards and rallies in southern california. heidi beirich is the co-founder of the global project against hate and extremism. Heidi Beirich, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism “I've never seen anybody use the term proud of your boy, in any other context than around Proud Boys.” In the series of voice memos henson says the navy is “playing ball” with him and that he’s leveraged his political connections and large social media following to avoid punishment. Beirich says this new audio should alarm the Navy. Heidi Beirich, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism “This should send flares up the chain of command. It's very dangerous. Really, to have someone with the kinds of skills that seal has working with an organization that is known for street, fighting and violence, and Insurrection. So I I find this quite horrifying.” Althoug the navy cleared henson of violating the pentagon’s extremism rules a naval special warfare official says they’re aware of the recordings but couldn’t comment on any investigation. To hear the recordings in full check kpbs dot org. Andrew Dyer, KPBS News.


SD-SU graduate Joe Kiani, founder of the medical technology company Masimo, has reason to celebrate.

Last month, a federal appeals court upheld his patent for a technology that Kiani says Apple computers was using illegally.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge has the story of the technology, and Kiani's battle to defend it.

Joe Kiani was a 15 year old Iranian immigrant when he started attending San Diego State University in the 1980s. Before that, he graduated from Valhalla High School in El Cajon. Kiani has built a corporation called Masimo, now based in Irvine, on a technology that tests blood oxygen levels. He perfected it with help from his business partner and his favorite professor. And now Masimo has annual revenues of about 2 billion dollars. Speaking at a San Diego State lecture series, Kiani said his approach to business and life is to know there are some problems that are way too big for one person to solve. “If you try to attack those you may not get anywhere. You may harm yourself or the people you love, But you should go after the things you can fix. The things that are your size or maybe a little bit bigger than you. And I think if you do that, that will be your legacy.” Pulse oximetry is the non-invasive way of measuring the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells that delivers oxygen to your tissues. It monitors the blood by shining lights through the skin. “So if you’re breathing fine. If your heart is pumping right, you should be between 97 and 100 percent. But if your lung or heart has any problems, then that oxygen level could drop down to 80, 70, 60 (percent) to a level where people can’t survive,”  Pulse oximetry predated Kiani’s work. But the old technology had a problem. Fred Harris is an electrical engineer and long-time SDSU professor who Kiani sees as a mentor. He says body movement causes capillaries to close and stop blood flow. “And when they close the capillaries there’s no fresh blood flowing and they detect this as not enough oxygen.” Those false readings caused Kiani and his business partner Mohamed Diab develop an innovation that had its origin in a class Harris taught about adaptive algorithms at SDSU. They  modified an algorithm that allowed pulse oximetry to spot the false oxygen readings. But Kiani has spent years protecting his invention. Harris says in the world of medical technology, it’s not surprising. “If you have a successful technology. Then you’re subject to attack by people with deep pockets. It’s as simple as that,” Kiani agrees. “Big companies truly believe they can bury the small company with legal fees. So they take what they like and they really assume you can’t stand up to them,” The legal battle with Apple began almost ten years ago when Kiani met with Apple executives who were spurious about his oximetry methods. Soon he noticed some of his employees defecting to Apple. Ultimately Apple included pulse oximetry technology in its Apple Watch. Masimo took them to court for patent infringement. Kiani doesn’t hesitate to blast the computer giant. “They stole our people. They stole our patents. They stole our property. And that’s not unusual for them,” A federal appeals court and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seemed to agree. The court upheld Masimo’s patents and forced Apple to remove pulse oximetry from their watches.  An Apple press contact responded to a KPBS inquiry but the company did not provide an interview. The company gave a statement to the website 9to5Mac, saying their appeal is ongoing and they “strongly disagree” with decisions in favor of Masimo. “Pending the appeal, the statement said, “Apple is taking steps to comply with the ruling.” That included introducing a version of Apple Watches without the Blood Oxygen feature. Today, Masimo is no longer a shoestring startup that can’t afford to defend their property in court. Kiani said he has acquired companies with promising technology, but he believes they were fair deals. “I haven’t forgotten who we were. I still root for innovators and small companies,” he said. “Never will we step on companies just because we think we can.” SOQ.


A delegation from the San Diego Community College District has wrapped up a three-day legislative mission to Washington, D-C.

Education reporter M.G. Perez says students did much of the talking.

The San Diego delegation included student body presidents from each of the district’s campuses. They met with California members of congress to talk face-to-face about federal funding. They want more money to pay for basic needs like affordable housing and food for college students barely surviving. is a second year student at Miramar College who grew up in a poor farming community in Merced “putting a name and a face to a story makes it more personal and reminds them of exactly why they need to continue to fight towards the goals and priorities that we are advocating for.” Student leaders also advocated for immigration reforms that would support undocumented workers and asylum seekers. MGP KPBS News.


The Taste of Things is a French film about food.

It’s opening this weekend at Digital Gym Cinema.

Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando says it’s something to savor.

Not since Babette's Feast have I wished I could smell and taste a film as much as this one. sounds of food prep Set in 1885, the film depicts the relationship between Eugenie, an exquisitely talented cook, and Dodin Bouffant, the gourmet she has worked for that past 20 years. Although they talk of marriage, it is really a relationship defined by food rather than romance. The film gets to the joys of food -- the preparation, the cooking, the eating, the way it can change someone's day. The extended opening is Eugenie preparing a meal with an eye for every step of the process and all the care that goes into making it. The film makes food look so tantalizing – even the dishes I have no interest in eating -- that I wanted to lick the screen. Vietnamese-born French director Trần Anh Hùng delivers a film about subtlety and delicacy – both in terms of the flavors Eugenie creates in the kitchen and the emotions he conveys in the film. At a time when everyone seems consumed by getting and doing things fast, The Taste of Things reminds us of the rewards of putting time and effort into creating something and then taking the time to savor it. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. In tomorrow’s podcast episode, our KPBS South Bay Engagement Producer joins me to fill us in on what resources are available on KPBS’s Voter Hub. We’ll have that, plus the day’s top stories. I’m Erik Anderson. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

This week’s tornado warning surprised many San Diego County residents alerted to the potentially dangerous weather conditions. We hear from a meteorologist about why the warning was issued. In other news, in a series of voice memos a San Diego Navy SEAL says he made a deal with the Navy after an investigation cleared him of extremism allegations, then he uses a slogan associated with a hate group. Plus, a San Diego State University graduate and founder of the medical technology company Masimo celebrates a federal appeals court upholding his patent for a technology he says Apple computers were using illegally.