The National Weather Service in Seattle, Washington confirmed a rare EF-1 tornado on Sunday afternoon in Gig Harbor, Washington, just north of Tacoma and across the Puget Sound from Seattle.
The rare twister mostly caused tree and power line damage, but it also damaged kayaks, according to a report from the NWS. One resident, according to Seattle TV station KCPQ, called it “the worst storm he had seen in 30 years”.
No injuries were reported.
Washington state, home to an average of just three twisters a year, isn’t exactly tornado alley. Even rarer are mid-winter tornados along the Washington coastline – this was the first January tornado in Washington in over seven years, and western Washington averages just one tornado per year.
Fortunately, it appears the worst part of the tornado was simply the interruption of residents watching the hometown Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game. Sunny skies and calm weather should help cleanup efforts through Thursday.