The National Weather Service confirmed on Monday morning that an EF-1 rated tornado touched down 5 miles southwest of Neilton, WA (in rural Grays Harbor County) around 4:40 am Saturday.
Meteorologists at the NWS office in Seattle had issued a tornado warning for the area after possible lofted debris was sighted on a radar scan, according to a release.
A Quinault Nation Fire official came upon ten downed trees on the Moclips Highway (SR-26) near MP 18 at approximately 5:20 AM, 40 minutes after the radar indicated the possibility of a tornado in the area.
A trained spotter from the National Weather Service visited the area on Sunday, and found damage consistent with 90-mph winds, which would rate the tornado as an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The tornado likely lasted less than two minutes and travelled approximately half a mile, with an estimated width of 30 yards.
Tornadoes in Washington are rare, but not unheard of. We average approximately 2 per year, according to the National Weather Service. Additionally, several tornado warnings were issued in January for this same area of Grays Harbor County, but no actual tornados were reported.
Do you know what to do if a blaring tornado warning pops up on your phone? (They sound like amber alerts) Here’s what to do.