From the archives: The first recorded tornado in Western WA was in 1962

From the archives: The first confirmed tornado in Western Wash. was in 1962 (KOMO News)

The first confirmed and documented tornado to hit Western Washington was on September 28, 1962.

The 1962 tornado struck the Sand Point neighborhood with wind speeds clocked at 100 mph and was rated as an F1 on the Fujita scale.

Tornado documentation didn't start until more recently in history. Before the 1962 tornado, several tornadoes did touch down on the eastern side of the state. The NOAA tornado documentation available for Washington dates back to 1954.

According to, the 1962 tornado damaged eight homes in Sand Point/View Ridge, then it turned into a waterspout as it crossed Lake Washington. The twister went all the way across the lake (what a sight that would have been had the 520 Bridge been built yet (1963)) and then made landfall again in the Juanita area of Kirkland, damaging more homes and toppling dozens of trees.

KOMO covered the earthquake anchored by Herb Robinson and Art McDonald:

One witness of the tornado who experienced damage at their Juanita home was Mary Gates -- the mother of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who was 7 at the time. KOMO News caught up with her after there was damage to her carport.

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