seattle tornado damage
© TedLandk5/ Twitter
A powerful tornado tore through a Seattle-area town on Tuesday afternoon, damaging homes and vehicles along its path.

The twister touched down just before 2 p.m. local time, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), raking through the Puget Sound community of Port Orchard, about 13 miles west of Seattle.

Images of significant damage to homes and trees in the area quickly started appearing on social media as well as via local news agencies. There are no reports of any injuries at this time.

The NWS will send a survey team on Wednesday morning to asses the damage and classify the intensity of the storm. "Until we conduct a tornado survey tomorrow morning, we can not speculate on the strength of the tornado," the weather agency said via Twitter.


While tornadoes occur in every month of the year in the United States, they aren't particularly common in the Pacific Northwest, and especially not in December. Washington averages only 2.5 tornadoes per year. If Tuesday's tornado is rated EF-2 or higher, it would become the first 'significant' tornado (those EF-2 or higher) 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.