A powerful tornado plowed into Washington state on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning, bringing a a massive tornado, high winds, heavy rain and heavy snow. The tornado touched down in Port Orchard, Washington, causing a significant amount of damage to houses and the neighborhood. There are no reports of injuries at this time.
“Steady precipitation tapered off over the Seattle Metro area during the afternoon. But, scattered thunderstorms formed. One of these thunderstorms tracked over Port Orchard just before 2 p.m. local time,” Senior Meteorologist David Samuhel said. According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, most of the “catastrophic” damage is in the neighborhoods east and south of the Walmart in the 3400 block of Bethel Road Southeast.
According to KOMO-TV (local ABC-affiliate), “The National Weather Service (NWS) team will look at the severity and spread of damage to determine where the storm ranks on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. If the storm rates as an EF-2 or larger it will just be the 16th tornado in recorded state history to reach that strength, and just the second ever in December.”
“…Catching even meteorologists by surprise..” Hmmm.
Growing up in north Seattle, across the sound from Port Orchard, we had ZERO tornadoes. There were maybe 2 or 3 tornadoes per year in the Eastern Washington desert and high steppe region. Really small ones.
This tornado descended from 10,000 feet! Right on top of Port Orchard!
Most tornadoes form from thunderstorms. In the past, before Climate Change and Global Warming hit +1.25C warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and cool, dry air from Canada met to create tornadoes. When these two air masses meet, they create instability in the atmosphere. Most strong and violent tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.
Now it appears we need extreme Arctic Oscillation and Vortex Collapse
Look at the bottom Earth, the “Warm Arctic” model, or what scientists call “A Negative Arctic Oscillation model. See that warm HIGH from Baja California? as the Arctic Vortex collapses over the Eastern Seaboard of North America? When the moist, warm air hot the cool and dry air of fresh Arctic Vortex Collapse, same scenario as moist, warm Gulf of Mexico air. Except to start rotation we don’t need a thunderstorm as in the Plain States, just the accurate shearing forces that split the larger masses of air into local events. Most strong and destructive tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.