The mystery of the missile over Southern California can easily be explained as only an optical illusion from a passenger plane contrail.
What the news helicopter filmed was an optical illusion produced by the setting sun and the curvature of the Earth. A flight, most likely originating in Hawaii, was inbound to the west coast of the United States.
As the plane flew through a cold pocket of air aloft, it produced a fairly substantial contrail. As you can see in the video, the upper-level winds actually spread the contrail to the south, making it appear that the contrail was the exhaust from a rocket.
The angle of the video being shot from the helicopter made an optical illusion that the contrail was coming from the ground up when, in fact, the contrail you see was probably hundreds of miles long and going all the way to the horizon over the ocean.
In addition, our eyes play tricks on us by taking objects in the foreground and comparing that to the contrail, making us think the contrail is closer and coming from the ground. It is the same reason we think the moon is large when it is rising -- we compare the moon to objects in our view and our brain interprets the moon as actually being much bigger when, in fact, it is not any bigger than when it is above us.
The exhaust flames that appear in the closeup are actually the reflection of sunlight on the airplane. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the sun is still shinning well above us despite the sun being below the horizon. That's why you see high clouds late in the evening with the brilliant reds and oranges after sunset.
So was it a missile? No, just a typical airplane contrail.
Unsettled weather in Atlanta will continue into this week, with the chance of thunderstorms remaining for the area through Tuesday.
After showers and thunderstorm come through the area on Monday, Detroit will see a period of slightly cooler temperatures for much of the week.
After the new week begins with stormy weather, the Cleveland area will see temperatures reminiscent of September move in midweek.
Dallas will see continued periods of heat and dry weather before severe storms bring cooler temperatures midweek.
The first part of this week will feel more like September than the middle of July, typically the hottest time of year, throughout the Midwest.
The hot weather seen across the Northwest over the weekend will carry over into the new week, continuing the risk of heat-related illness.
Montreal, Quebec (1987)
Severe thunderstorms led to flash flooding and many accidents. Widespread damage; two people were killed. A power outage left dozens stranded in subways overnight.
Mason County, OH (1997)
About 5" of rain fell in 2 hours. Many basements flooded. 135 cars in a parking lot at King's Island amusement park were damaged.
Scottsdale, AZ (2001)
Thunderstorm wind gusts (60-80 mph) blew over a power pole into a car killing the driver. Several other poles were blown over, which trapped 8 vehicles with live power lines. several trees were uprooted and a house roof damaged.