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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 19, 2015 at 7:28 PM

Tornado touched down near Gig Harbor, weather service confirms

A low-intensity tornado touched down near Gig Harbor on Sunday afternoon, uprooting trees and breaking limbs along a roughly four-mile path, the National Weather Service in Seattle determined Monday.

No injuries were reported.

The twister touched down at 2:18 p.m. about four miles west-southwest of Gig Harbor and lasted up to 15 minutes, said meteorologist Allen Kam. On Monday, meteorologists interviewed residents and watched video shot by an eyewitness to help make the official tornado determination.

“For most of its path, it was a tornado,” Kam said. “But it did get out over the harbor there, and during that time it was essentially a water spout.”

Tornadoes occur on average about once a year in Western Washington, though the ones here typically register low-intensity levels of 0 or 1 on the 6-point Enhanced Fujita Tornado Damage Scale, or “EF Scale,” Kam said.

At its peak intensity, Sunday’s tornado registered a 1 on the EF Scale and reached a maximum width of 175 feet, Kam said.

Comments | Topics: Gig Harbor, National Weather Service, tornado

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