Powerful, rare Seattle area tornado confirmed as an EF-2
Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 6:01 PM - A powerful tornado tore through a Seattle-area town on Tuesday afternoon, damaging homes and vehicles along its path.
After assessing the damage Wednesday, a storm survey team from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Seattle confirmed an EF-2 tornado touched down near Port Orchard, Wash.
"This is the strongest tornado to hit Washington state since 1986," added the weather agency in a Tweet.
The twister touched down just before 2 p.m. local time, according to the NWS, raking through the Puget Sound community of Port Orchard, about 13 miles west of Seattle.
Images of significant damage to homes and trees in the area quickly started appearing on social media as well as via local news agencies. There are no reports of any injuries at this time.
(Related: Tornado safety tips)
While tornadoes occur in every month of the year in the United States, they aren't particularly common in the Pacific Northwest, and especially not in December. Washington averages only 2.5 tornadoes per year. This twister is the first 'significant' tornado (those EF-2 or higher) in Washington state since 1986, and the first significant December tornado in the state since 1969. Even more unusual: Washington state now matches Texas for the number of EF-2 storms in December -- 1. Washington state has no EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes on record.
TORNADO TOUCHES DOWN NEAR SEATTLE
Stay with us here at The Weather Network for the latest on this developing story.
Sources: Tornado History Project |