Tornado touches down in Southern Washington on Monday evening
People in parts of Southern Washington got a little more than just stormy weather to start the week, with reports of a tornado moving through the area on Monday evening.
According to the National Weather Service’s bureau in Portland, Oregon, “multiple videos and doppler radar” confirmed the presence of a “weak tornado” around 7 p.m., near the north end of Battle Ground, Washington.
There was no reported damage, but the NWS says it did cause severe thunderstorms by the time it got to the Yacolt area about 13 miles away.
While tornados aren’t frequent in Washington state, they’re also not entirely uncommon. One touched down in Grays Harbor County in October 2020, downing 10 trees on Moclips highway at mile marker 18.
A tornado ripped through Port Orchard in 2018 as well, damaging several homes with fallen trees and debris.
Battle Ground last saw a major tornado in 2015, which damaged 36 homes while producing wind speeds of up to 104 miles an hour along its two-mile path.
The deadliest tornado in state history occurred just 15 miles south of Battle Ground in Vancouver, Washington, in 1972. The Vancouver tornado was blamed for injuring about 300 people, and hospitalizing 54. Property damage was estimated at $6 million, the equivalent of over $35 million in today’s dollars.
According to the Tornado History Project, there have been 118 total tornadoes in Washington state between 1954 and 2016. Most often, they’re rated an EF0 or EF2, on a scale that ranges from “weak” between EF0 and EF1, to “strong” at EF2 and EF3, going as high as “violent” at EF4 and EF5.
For the Battle Ground tornado that occurred Monday, meteorologists are still in the process of conducting a storm survey to determine its exact strength and path length.