Oregon, or Kansas? Portland NWS office issues record 10 Tornado Warnings Friday
Of all the crazy weather we get in the Pacific Northwest, the one solace forecasters have is usually "at least we don't have to deal with severe thunderstorms."
But in honor of our super stormy week with multiple low pressure centers and an eye toward rewriting some windstorm record books, Mother Nature must have thought, "why not toss in a few more curveballs?"
A very complex storm that actually had dual low pressure centers also managed to create a rare-for-the-Northwest environment of really unstable air and tremendous wind shear -- not only allowing strong thunderstorms to form, but get rotation for an environment ripe for tornadoes and waterspouts!
Nowhere was it more evident than Manzanita, Oregon where a fairly powerful waterspout came ashore and as a tornado, caused quite a bit of damage in the town:
A waterspout-turned-tornado was also reported in Oceanside, Oregon.
NEXRAD Radar also indicated a number of other rotating storms in that region Friday morning that were capable of triggering tornadoes, including separate Tornado Warnings issued for Raymond and Long Beach in Washington. No reports of any sightings though.
In all, the National Weather Service office in Portland reported issuing *10* Tornado Warnings Friday morning across Clatsop, Tillamook and Pacific Counties. The most they could find prior to that since 2005 was 2 in the same day. Their last Tornado Warning was November 23, 2014.
As you might imagine, tornado warnings are quite rare in the Pacific Northwest -- the nearby Pacific Ocean has a great moderating force on our weather that normally keeps severe weather away. Here is a chart showing the number of days since each National Weather Service office issued their last tornado warning:
Look at that - nearly 14 years for Eureka, California. Seattle is at 733 -- we just passed our 2-year anniversary! Do you remember that tornado warning? It too was a waterspout that came inland, only it was a Puget Sound waterspout that marched into Pierce County near JBLM.
Oregon and Washington each average about 2 tornadoes a year somewhere in their respective states. Between the two states, there has only been one tornado that was deadly -- an F3 tornado that went into Vancouver, Washington in April 1972 that killed 6 people and injured 300.