Extremely rare, very damaging tornado rips through Port Orchard, Seattle, Washington

Extremely rare, very damaging tornado rips through Port Orchard, Seattle, Washington

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National Weather Service in Seattle confirmed a tornado touched down near Port Orchard, WA just before 14:00 local time on Tuesday, December 18, 2018. An extensive, official damage survey will be conducted by the NWS Wednesday morning. Until then, the strength of the tornado can't be determined.

The state averages 2.5 tornadoes a year, but December tornadoes are even more rare, averaging just 0.1 a year, NWS office in Seattle said.

The tornado swept through a neighborhood near Port Orchard, Washington, causing considerable damage. It ripped roofs off of buildings, damaging at least 50 homes, downed trees and damaged numerous vehicles.

Local media reported one of the homes had its roof completely destroyed. Additionally, 20 homes were evacuated after a possible gas leak but there are no reports of injuries.

How rare are tornadoes in Washington?

On average, the state has just 2.5 tornadoes a year, but December tornadoes are even more rare, averaging just 0.1 a year, NWS office in Seattle said.

"If Tuesday's tornado is rated EF-2 or higher, it would become the first 'significant' tornado (>EF-2) in Washington state since 1986, and the first significant December tornado in the state since 1969. Even more unusual: if the storm is rated EF-2 (or higher), Washington state will match Texas for the number of EF-2 storms in December -1. Washington state has no EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes on record," The Weather Network meteorologists said.

Featured image credit: Matthew Hargis​

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