Some of the Area's Tornadoes
Local Notable Historical Storms and Data:
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June 13, 2013 McMinnville, Oregon
An EF1 tornado cut a 1/4 mile path through the center of town, significantly damaging several buildings and snapping trees.
See a scientific explanation for the formation of this tornado.
December 14, 2010 Aumsville, Oregon
An EF2 tornado caused considerable damage in southeast Aumsville Oregon and areas to the northeast of the town.
November 7, 2009 Lincoln City, Oregon
An EF0 tornado touched down near Roads End in Lincoln City causing damage to many houses.
October 26, 2009 Oregon City, Oregon
An EF0 tornado touched down near causing damage to many houses.
June 4, 2009 Peoria, Oregon
An EF0 tornado touched down causing minor damage.
January 10, 2008 Vancouver, Washington
An EF1 tornado touched down near Vancouver Lake and continued to skip across Vancouver, Washington finally ascending around Hockinson after destroying a marina and causing a lot of damage across Vancouver.
September 28, 2007 Lebanon, Oregon A tornado touched down and caused some damage to a barn near Lebanon, Oregon.
is a photo of the twister.
January 1996, near Lincoln City in Lincoln County
An apparent tornado struck the coast near Lincoln City. There were no eyewitnesses, since this occurred at night, but the damage which resulted makes it evident that a tornado did occur. An intense electrical storm, one of the strongest in recent years, occurred late one January night. Thunder, lightning, and high winds lasted for several hours. The next day, several damage reports were received by the Lincoln City police. In the parking lot of a manufactured home facility, a trailer was lifted completely off the ground and dropped on the trailer adjacent to it. Several windows were shattered, with glass exploding outward as if the result of extremely low outside pressure. Near the ocean, a number of fish were apparently pulled from the ocean and dropped onto a parking lot. Based on the nature of the reports, it appears that a tornado passed through Lincoln City that night.
July 9, 1995, near Hermiston in Umatilla County
Workers at the Simplot Plant southeast of Hermiston spotted a tornado that touched down for about two minutes in a nearby wheat field causing no damage. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
May 11, 1995, near Baker City in Baker County
A very small tornado touched down briefly near the Sheriff's office in downtown Baker City. was no damage or injuries reported. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
March 11 1995, near Happy Valley in Harney County
A small tornado was sighted in east-central Harney County. The area is very sparsely populated and no other information was available. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
March 22, 1994, near Albany in Linn County
A small tornado touched down near a shopping area in Albany. It blew out a stor window and damaged some merchandise inside but overall damage was very limited. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
February 13, 1994, near Warrenton in Clatsop County
A weak tornado touched down briefly at Kamper's West Park near Warrenton. It lifted 20 wooden picnic tables 40 feet into the air and deposited them 200 yards away. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
December 8, 1993, near Newberg in Washington County
This F2 tornado was the most powerful tornado in Oregon in many years. It started as a cold front that came with a deep surface low along the coast that moved across the Willamette Valley. Six veal calves were killed, a dairy farm was damaged roofs were blown off some small buildings, and many trees were broken. People reported that the funnel was sucking water from the Willamette River as it moved northeast. There, it greatly damaged a mobile home park. A tree at least 2 feet in diameter was snapped off six feet above the ground and hit a two story house. Remarkably, no one was injured. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
July 16, 1993 near Madras in Jefferson County
A weak tornado touched down north of Madras. It traveled about a half mile, knocking over several trees before retreating back into the cloud. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
July 22, 1992 near Hells Canyon Dam
This tornado touched down near Hells Canyon Dam. A family trying to escape the storm got into their car. The twister apparently went right over their car, blowing out the passenger windows, lifting it 2 or 3 feet and pummeling it with debris. The car was totaled but there were no injuries. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
November 12, 1991 near Silverton in Marion County
The third tornado of the day in northwest Oregon! It was smaller then the other two but it ripped through a 700 square foot barn causing significant damage. This
photo of the tornado was taken from a moving
November 12, 1991 near Tualatin in Washington County
The second tornado of the day in Oregon touched down near an office district in Tualatin. It lifted two dumpsters and threw them into a parked van and sucked open an office door, ripping out the ceiling tiles. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
November 12, 1991 near Troutdale in Multnomah County
This tornado caused significant damage to eighty feet of fencing as it touched down near Troutdale. It also tore off part of a roof and ripped out the wall of a steel building. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
May 1, 1991 near Pendleton in Umatilla County
This small tornado touched down in wheat fields near Pendleton causing little if any damage. It was visible from the National Weather Service forecast office in Pendleton. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
April 9, 1991, near Gresham in Multnomah County
Very small, weak tornado touched down near Gresham. Very slight damage. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
May 23, 1990, near Albany in Linn County
A cold spring low pressure center moved east through Oregon during the day producing unstable weather over a large area. Between 1230 and 1400 PDT at least three funnel clouds were sited in Linn County near Albany. No one could confirm that any touched the ground. An eyewitness video-taped one particular funnel cloud that remained just below the cloud base for nearly five minutes.
November 24, 1989, near Eugene in Lane County
The tornado touched down in the south hills of Eugene. It caused telephone pulls to break in half. It also uprooted several tall fir trees which fell on two houses and a camper causing significant damage but no injuries. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
August 22, 1989, near Bend in Deschutes County
This tornado touched down about 5 miles east of Bend. Two shed roofs were blown off parts off which were never found. The tornado also uprooted juniper trees and embedded broken window glass into a chest of draws in a house. Witnesses saw large metal roof pieces being rotated up into the sky. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
June 29, 1989, near La Center in Clark County, Washington
A tornado touched down during the afternoon of the 29th of June, moving through northern Clark County. Following is a damage survey report.
3300 NW 289th St: Part of a maple tree was blown down. Wind direction was estimated at 200 degrees, or South, based on how the tree was lying on the ground. To the south-southwest of the tree is an open field. On the far side of the field there was no visible damage. Just across the street to the north of the damaged tree a 10 feet square section of a barn roof had all cedar shakes blown off. A resident in a nearby home recalled that it rained quite hard before the wind hit. She went outside right after the hardest wind hit to retrieve a patio table and umbrella. While outside, she noticed the sky was dark, reminding her of tornado weather (she grew up in Oklahoma), but saw no rotating clouds. All damage appears to be straight line winds.
29502 NW 31st Ave: A wagon was blown on its side by a strong west wind. Three small fir trees, about 20 feet tall, were blown over with roots exposed. Fiberglass panels, each about 26 inches by 10 feet, were blown from near the fir trees to an orchard about 100 feet away, with some panels bent around trees. One panel was carried about 3/8ths mile down the road. Several large pear trees were heavily damaged with many large limbs broken. Heavy rain came just prior to the strong winds, then tapered off once the wind abated.
29711 NW 31st St: A person saw clouds at a low level heading to the northeast. One foot square foam panels were blown due west while the wind across the street appeared to be blowing due north. He watched the clouds come together and begin rotating above 29502 NW 31st Ave.
November 2, 1984, near Waldport in Lincoln County
Tornado-like winds tore the roof off the Bayshore Inn Motel in Waldport around 4:45 pm. There were no injuries, but the hotel suffered $250,000 in damage. Wind apparently moved automobiles and campers in the parking lot. Several witnesses reported a funnel as well as swirling debris. The storm was accompanied by "finger-sized" hail. The hotel is on the north side of Alsea Bay on a sand spit and is well exposed.
October 26, 1984, near Champoeg Park in Marion County
A small tornado touched down 1.5 miles southeast of Champoeg Park, or two miles northwest of Donald. A workshop/garage that faced wwest was totally destroyed. Two large cement foundations approximately two square feet in area were torn from the ground. An entire roof and sides of a structure were deposited in a field just to the east. Large trees were sheared off near the structure and three large fir trees were uprooted 0.75 mile east of where the tornado touched down. The tornado was accompanied by pea-sized hail and frequent lightning. Apparently lightning struck and killed a field worker south of Canby.
May 14th, 1984, near Junction City in Lane County
This small tornado touched down at the location of the Eugene Livestock Auction, damaging a barn and shelter. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
April 18th, 1984, near Woodland Heights in Yamhill County
This small tornado touched down about 8.5 miles south of McMinnville. It lasted only briefly but tore the roof off a large barn. Witnesses saw debris being drawn up into the cloud in a circular pattern. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
June 22, 1983, near Bend in Deschutes County
A small tornado touched down a few miles southeast of Bend for a brief time. It crossed open range country causing only slight damage. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
June 21, 1983, near La Grande in Baker County
A short lived tornado touched down near the LaGrande area. It caused only slight damage most likely to fields and timber. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
March 22, 1983, near Brookings in Curry County
A small tornado touched down southeast of Brookings near the California-Oregon border causing some minor damage. The twister was only on the ground for a few yards but was up to 15 yards wide. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
August 20, 1979, near Sandy in Clackamas County
The tornado's path was over two miles long. An observer to the storm, Robert Lee, (
Oregonian, August 22, 1979) described it as "a black roll cloud like a vertical cliff approaching, spitting lightning in a brilliant barrage...." It rained so hard that he could not see "four feet in front." Harold Butler, Sandy, stated that he saw a funnel snake down out of the cloud touching the ground here and there. Damage included that to a house under construction, which was flattened, and to others that were hit by falling trees. A storage building full of machinery was blown apart. Power service through the Sandy area was temporarily knocked out. From Oregon Climate
May 23, 1979, near Klamath Falls in Klamath County
Several funnel clouds were observed in the area. Some of them touched down as tornadoes briefly. No damage or injuries were reported. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
August 20, 1978, near Amity in Yamhill County
Another apparent tornado struck the Amity area only a couple of hours after the Scappose tornado. It caused small amounts of damage and was determined to be a tornado only after later visits and inspection of the area. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
August 20, 1978, near Scappoose in Columbia County
This apparent tornado caused moderate damage when it struck a mobile home, and scattered pieces for 0.25 mile. However, no injuries or deaths occurred in the area. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
August 16, 1978, near Gresham in Multnomah County
A small tornado touched down near Gresham causing some damage to buildings and crops. It was on the ground only briefly. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
December 12, 1975, near Tillamook in Tillamook County
This was a moderate tornado which caused considerable damage to the Tillamook area. The twister touched down near Tillamook and traveled along the ground for up to 2 miles. It passed very near KTIL radio station which recorded 90 mph winds as it passed. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
September 16, 1975, near Baker City in Baker County
This very small tornado only briefly touched down in an open field near Baker causing no damage. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
August 18, 1975, near Eugene in Lane County
This tornado occurred near Eugene but was not well documented. It apparently destroyed a metal building but caused no injuries. The amount of damage caused is unknown. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
April 23, 1974, near Nyssa in Malheur County
The tornado traveled along the Oregon-Idaho border, demolishing a large farm building and the machinery in it. It also lifted another small building completely off the ground. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
September 21, 1973, 50 miles northeast of Lakeview in Lake County
This small tornado was observed from about 10 miles away as it crossed open, uninhabited country. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
December 13, 1973, near Newport in Lincoln County
This apparent tornado ripped through Newport in the evening with the passage of a squall line. It tore off the roof of a real estate building, several windows blown out, two other roofs damaged and a garage moved off its foundation. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
April 5, 1972, (
F3 tornado )
Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington
A very turbulent squall line moved northeast across Portland, causing scattered wind damage, broken tree limbs, and even uprooting some trees. Track of the strongest storm cell in the squall line was first indicated at Tigard where straight line winds unroofed a lumber warehouse at 12965 SW Pacific Highway, and its debris damaged five vehicles parked in a neighboring service station. High winds were experienced across the West Hills of Portland and tree limbs littered Hamilton Park. Passage of the storm cells across Portland caused a 0.12 inch pressure jump as recorded by the NWS Climatology Office in the Multnomah Building in downtown Portland. Straight line winds toppled several trees at the south edge of the Riverside Country Club just 1.4 miles southwest of the Columbia River's south bank.
The Portland/Vancouver tornado that developed from this storm fist touched down at the south edge of the Columbia River damaging four pleasure boat moorages in the 3300 to 3400 blocks of NE Marine Drive. About 50 cabin cruisers were either damaged or blown about by the wind as it damaged a dry dock, boat houses and dock shelters. The funnel was not observed locally because it was obscured by mud and flying debris. It was described as a clack mass, and several persons reported seeing water being drawn up into the cloud as the tornado moved one-half mile before crossing the Oregon-Washington state line in the middle of the Columbia River and continuing on to the Washington shore. Observers were unable to see across the Columbia River because of the water vapor.
The tornado continued its nine-mile total damage path across the east side of Vancouver to the Brush Prairie area. Six persons lost their lives while 300 persons were injured. The tornado caused five to six million dollars in property damage in Washington alone. The tornado was the most devastating tornado in Oregon's recorded weather history, dating back to 1871.
Additional wind damage in the Portland area included fallen trees on two homes in Lake Oswego, trees blocking sections of NE Glisan and Flanders and smashing two automobiles, and damaged telephone and power lines. Portland National Weather Service Office on 5421 NE Marine Drive (about 1 mile east of the tornado touchdown) recorded a sustained wind of 48 miles per hour from the south at 12:53 pm and gusts of 63 mph from the south at 12:52 pm. Here are more wind reports from the Portland area:
Wind Reports from the April 5 1972 Thunderstorm
|| Wind Speed
Portland, Morrison Bridge
|| South wind 48 mph, recorded
at 1244 pm
710 SW Viewpoint Drive (Vancouver)
South wind 50 mph
Mt Scott (east Portland)
South wind 82 mph
2900 NE Marine Drive (Portland)
|| Estimated West wind 40 to 60
3417 NE Marine Drive (Portland)
|| South wind 40 to 50 mph before the storm hit, then South wind hit 120 mph before
measuring equipment was damaged
3737 NE Marine Drive (Portland)
Southeast wind 80 mph
May 25, 1971, near McMinnville in Yamhill County
At around 4 pm, a small slow moving tornado touched down briefly at a rural home along Booth Bend Road aobut 1.8 miles south-southeast of the McMinnville Post Office. The funnel aloft was watched by many persons as it hung about half way to the ground and slowly moved east-southeast. It seemed to almost retreat into the 5000-foot cloud base before dipping to the ground where it unroofed a barn and damaged a home. Local residents watched the whirling debris in the funnel as it touched the ground several more times while moving across 0.4 mile across a grassy pasture. The tornado then lifted aloft with some of the debris knocking upper limbs from tall fir trees about a mile away from where it first touched down. The farm house was saved from greater damage when a garbage can was blown through the kitchen window. This helped equalize the inside-outside pressure, but the tornado still sucked a section of weaker ceiling tile from the dining room and swirled insulation throughout the home.
May 11, 1970, near Warm Springs in Wasco County
At around 2:15 pm a small tornado was sighted by a Weather Bureau employee and two Forest Service employee as it touched down just east of US Highway 26 about 9 1/2 miles northwest of Warm Springs. The funnel was watched from three miles away as it lowered from a dark ragged thunderstorm base. The group was the tornado pick up dust for about two minutes as it moved northeastward across open sagebrush land before withdrawing into the cloud base. No damage was reported.
October 13, 1968, near Newberg in Washington County
At around 1 pm, a funnel cloud was observed to briefly touch the ground. No damage was reported.
October 13, 1968, near 20 miles west of Portland
A funnel cloud briefly touched the ground. No damage is known to have occurred. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
June 11, 1968, 30 miles north of Enterprise in Wallowa County
This storm struck in very mountainous, unihabited timbered area. Very few persons witnessed the tornado, and those persons were in poor position to actually observed the tornado. Determination as a tornado is based largely on width of the path and appearance of wreckage it caused. Approximately 1800 acres of prime timber were destroyed, with an additional 1200 acres badly damaged. An estimated 40 million board feet of lumber were blown down. The storm lasted no more than 5 minutes at any observed point and was accompanied briefly by golfball-sized hail. The storm occurred around 4 pm and had a ground path of about eight to ten miles.
October 3, 1967, near Astoria in Clatsop County
A waterspout moved inland from the Pacific Ocean for about 0.5 mile before dissipating. Several homes, a few other buildings, and a considerable quantity of ornamental trees and shrubs were damaged. This was the first true tornado to ever be officially observed in this area.
June 21, 1967, 13 miles west of Sheaville in Malheur County
During the afternoon, a funnel aloft was observed by several employees of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife working at Upper Cow Creek Lake, located 13 miles west-southwest of Sheaville. The funnel was first sighted one mile southwest of the lake and moved to the northeast. The lower end of the funnel swung in all directions and even lowered to the ground as a tornado for about 30 seconds and traveled on the ground for about one-half mile. Considerable sagebrush was carried aloft before the tornado raised from the ground. It was visible for about twenty minutes as it covered an eight-mile path before disappearing back into the cloud base. Considerable hail covered the ground during the storm's passage. Many hailstones were 0.75 inch in diameter and larger.
October 20, 1966, near Seaside in Clatsop County
At around 3:30 pm, a very small tornado moved through about one block of the city. A few store windows were smashed, several power and telephone lines were downed, and outdoor signs were demolished. Most damage to buildings was light.
August 25, 1966, near Adrian in Malheur County
At around 5:10 pm, a small tornado touched ground at a number of points along a very narrow path, extending from slightly west of Adrian, a farming area west of Ontario, to the Oregon/Idaho border just north of Ontario. It remained slightly west of the heavily populated areas of Nyssa and Ontario. A number of trees and utility poles were twisted and broken. Several farm buildings were either damaged or destroyed. Power and telephone service was disrupted for several hours over a wide area. Several hay, seed crops, and hops fields were destroyed. The tornado had a path length of about 12 miles and a path width of nearly 100 yards.
November 11, 1965, near Rainier in Columbia County
At around 3 pm, a very small tornado began at Rainier on the south bank of the Columbia River near Longview, Washington. It moved across the river into Washington, producing a small waterspout over the river. Two buildings were destroyed, but property losses were not serious. The tornado path was about one-half mile long and was 15 to 20 yard wide.
June 23, 1966, near Forest Grove in Washington County
A small, short-lived tornado moved from the southwest to northwest through a corn field and a prune orchard, uprooting 20 to 25 prune trees. The tornado occurred during the late afternoon, and had a path length of one-fourth mile and was 60 yards in width at the widest point. There was no other significant damage reported with the tornado. Heavy rain occurred at the same time, but no hail or lightning was reported.
May 19, 1962, near Klamath Falls in Klamath County
A very small tornado, but confirmed by authorities, moved across the small farming area about 10 miles south of Klamath Falls around noon. One hay barn was destroyed and slight damage occurred to farm implements and equipment that was hurled about in the strong winds. The tornado path was about one-half mile in length and about 20 yards in width. There were no fatalities.
March 8, 1960, near Almsville in Marion County
A small, but fairly violent tornado skipped over a path of 1 mile long, but was never more than a few yard in width. The tornado damaged several small farm buildings and removed roofs off two homes and a chimney off another home. The tornado moved to just outside of the main part of town, grazing the school grounds, but causing no major damage to the school or town.
April 12, 1957, around noon, Tornadoes on both sides of Cascades
near Sandy in Multnomah County
A very black storm cloud which produced hailstones of 0.25 to 0.50 inch in diameter moved across the city of Sandy and the surrounding area, about 25 miles southeast of Portland, shortly before noon. In the rural areas just a short distance east of Sandy, a small tornado approximately 35 to 50 yards in diameter struck, twisting large fir trees 18 to 36 inches in diameter off about 30 to 40 feet above the ground. The tornado also carried one large barn in construction several hundred feet before destroying it. The tornado also damaged several other farm buildings and tore roofs off many homes. The path of the tornado along the ground was 2 to 3 miles in length. Several homes suffered broken windows from the hail.
near Ione and Lexington in Gilliam and Morrow Counties
In the initial stages a long thin rope-like funnel was observed descending from a heavy cumulonimbus cloud over southeastern Gilliam County nearly due west of Ione. This moved rapidly eastward into Morrow county, and finally dissipated near Lexington in south central Morrow county. Its path varied from less than 100 yards to nearly 0.25 mile in width, with an overall length of 15 to 20 miles. The tornado crossed over open range and caused little damage. One telephone pole was pulled out of the ground and large quantities of dust and sagebrush were carried aloft. While hail was generally less than one-half inch in diameter, a few hailstones of over one inch in diameter was reported near Heppner. Fortunately, the hail fell in rangeland and little damage resulted.
January 20, 1953, Corvallis in Benton County
A "miniature tornado" struck Corvallis January 20, 1953. The twister, which suddenly appeared out of dark clouds at 8 a.m., struck the downtown area. During its brief presence, it "exploded" one building, passed close to the Roosevelt school, then crossed the Willamette River before disappearing. Accompanying the tornado were rain and hail which fell in sheets, causing more damage to businesses than did the twister. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
The following was found in a local newspaper, the Gazette Times about the Corvallis Tornado
submitted by NWS Skywarn™ Spotter ):
ROOFS, WINDOWS GO; BRIEF WIND STRIKES AT OVER 100 MPH
A twister accompanied by a drenching downpour dipped into Corvallis at 8:01 a.m. today and left in its wake damage by wind and flood estimated up to $500,000 by Fire Chief Percy Tallman. Apparently there were no injuries Roofs were ripped from buildings and flung a block away. Power lines were torn out and left dangling in a confused mess. Trees were uprooted. Windows smashed. A little black dog was picked up and carried a block about a foot off the ground. When he landed again, he started running and was still running when last seen.
Miraculously, no one was hurt. Some sections of the town were without power most of the day. for the fist time in years, the Gazette-Times was hours behind in its publication. The twister first struck about 20th & Philomath road in vacant Avery tract, where it broke down a large tree. Cars were forced off the road and collisions were narrowly avoided. The wind, which had speeds up to 100 miles an hour by best estimates, struck the offices of Cornell, Howland, Hayes and Merryfield on Western avenue, tore loose the carport and slammed it clear over the office of Dr. T.R. Assum and into the Roosevelt school yard. A telephone pole was toppled and power lines snapped. The Roosevelt school yard heavy wire fence was flattened.
The twister then moved down Western avenue in about a 100 yard swath. ripping shingles and other forms of roofing from buildings, knocking in plate glass windows. It appeared to have bounced accrossed the city, striking about a block apart. It hit on 3rd, caving in a plateglass window in the news room of the Gazette-Times, and ripped the roof from Carlson's furnishings and knocking over a weighing scale. Second street merchants probably suffered more damage than any other section. Signs were torn down. A roof from the Scott Cleaners was lifted off and sent skimming across the street, striking the buildings on the east side and smacking into a huge transformer, blacking out the downtown section. A huge section of the Kline building roof from Carlson's furnishings and knocking over a weighing scale. Debris was splattered up and down Second street between Jefferson and Monroe. Cornices of some of the older buildings were toppled into the street and street lights were torn loose. The large roof atop the Montgomery Ward building was lifted up and settled back. The wind then blew itself out as it crossed the river.
It was the first twister to ever hit Corvallis, according to long-time residents of the area. While the winds reached a speed estimated at 100 miles an hour, Oregon State college physics instructors pointed out that the damage of twisters is generally caused by the vacuum created by the winds. Only the hour, when few businesses were yet open, prevented any injury by flying debris. There are photographs of some of the damage, but they really don't show any of the buildings most heavily damaged.
The next day's edition sticks by the $500,000 estimate, noting that the heavy rains accompaning the tornado damaged the interior of many homes that were partially unroofed. Much, if not most of the damage is definitely F0-F1, but there is some evidence in the narrative to suggest at least one suction vortice capable of F2 damage. One downtown building that lost its roof sustained $30,000 in damage, a substantial amount by the $ of that day.
June 25, 1951, near Seneca in Umatilla County
The Burns Times-Harold, in its June 27, 1952 edition, reported that two days earlier a "twister" struck in spots along a twenty mile path in the Logan Valley near Seneca. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
January 20, 1951, near Eugene in Lane County
This small tornado moved along the ground for about 500 yards in a path 50 yards wide. It lifted a 30 x 32 foot barn 300 feet into the air, spreading timbers over a half-mile area. It lasted for only about 13 minutes. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
June 25, 1937, near McKenzie Bridge in Lane County
A severe thunderstorm, accompanied by tornadic winds and heavy fall of hail, struck near McKenzie Bridge on the 25th of June, uprooting hundreds of trees, demolishing summer homes, camp buildings, and damaging many bridges. Hailstones about one inch in diameter fell to a depth of 6 inches along the McKenzie Highway, with inflicting damage on many automobiles. There was no official observation of a tornado.
June 16, 1937, near Halfway in Baker County
A tornado occurred in Pine Valley in the eastern part of Baker County on June 16th, accompanied by hail and heavy rain.
Here is a summary taken from Oregon Climatic Data of June 1937. "One funnel was distinctly seen by many people, with a few reports of people seeing three funnels. The view of the storm was obscured in some directions by sheets of hail, ranging from one-fourth inch to one inch in diameter. When the storm struck, darkness prevailed. The first damage was the complete destruction of a barn in the southwestern part of Halfway. A house 150 feet from the barn was untouched. The storm seemed to jump about 300 yards, then came down again, wrecking buildings and fences and blowing down many trees. It again jumped, missing the main part of town, coming down in the park, where tore everything down. The damage done by the wind, rain, and hail was serious, covering an area of several square miles. Gardens were ruined, chickens killed, and windows broken. One beneficial result of the storm was the destruction of large numbers of crickets. This was the first tornado ever know in the region."
Here is another description of the tornado: "The tornado occurred between 9:22 and 9:35 am, wrecking a barn and moving a brick church about 15 inches off its foundation. Small buildings were turned completely over and not damaged. A garage lifted from its foundation and thrown several feet leaving the car inside undamaged. A cow was carried 60 feet through the air and deposited upside down without hair and skin. Five large pine trees were blown down around the house with no damage to the building. A woman walking down Main Street was entangled by a barbed wire fence, being forced to remain wrapped in the wire for the duration of the storm, but did escape with only minor injuries. Chickens were killed by the hail, much loss to alfalfa and grain fields near Halfway were destroyed, and many livestock were killed." From the American Meteorological Society,
Monthly Weather Review, June 1937.
June 16, 1937, near in Baker County
This seems to have been a very significant tornado. A barn was wrecked, a brick church was moved about 15 inches off its foundation, small buildings were turned completely over and a garage was lifted and thrown to the side leaving the car standing untouched where the garage had been. A cow was carried 60 feet through the air and deposited upside down without hair or skin! A women was injured when she was entangled by a barbed wire fence during the storm. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
February 19, 1926, near McMinnville in Yamhill County
Mr. W. J. Kelley, of McMinnville, sent the Weather Bureau a report of what appears to have been a small tornado that damaged his farm on February 19, 1926. The account, together with photographs, indicated the occurrence of winds which felled many trees and destroyed a huge drying house (presumably drying is associated with an agricultural process) about a mile southwest of Mr. Kelley's farm. It is stated that there was no lightning, thunder, nor hail with the storm, though it rained heavily for a short time. A friend of Mr. Kelley told him "that there seemed to be four or five little whirlwinds in a bunch coming down from one big and very black cloud and whirling around with great speed." From the American Meteorological Society
Monthly Weather Review, March 1926.
November 11, 1925, near Salem in eastern Polk and western Marion County
At approximately 11 am, a tornado began a few miles southwest of Salem in Polk county and travelled east-northeast for about 5 miles. Most of the path was in Marion county. Damage occurred to a few buildings and trees, while the total damage was nearly a few thousand dollars. It is quite evident that the storm was a rather poorly defined tornado, which reached the ground at a few places in a 5 mile path extending from just north of Independence to a point in the Liberty district, just to the southwest of Salem. At no place was the path well outlined, as for the most part damage was confined to old weak structures. No serious injuries were reported. The destruction was mostly confined to the right side of the path, where the whirl was moving in the same direction as the whole storm, and therefore most of thewreckage was carried forward. Some damaged buildings showed the effects of the sudden expansion of the air in the buildings against the reduced pressure outside. This appears to the first recorded tornado west of the Cascade Range in Oregon.From the American Meteorological Society
Monthly Weather Review, November 1925.
April 15, 1925, near Condon in Gilliam County
A poorly defined tornado occurred on the 15th of the month around 10:30 am. There was much damage to warehouses and other buildings along the northeast track of the storm.
March 19, 1904, in East Portland in Multnomah County
What was described as a "cyclonic storm" (Oregonian, March 21, 1904) hit part of East Portland, March 19, 1904, destroying several shacks, doing considerable damage to the Lewis and Clark fairgrounds, and demolishing a large warehouse. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
February 26, 1904, in Mt Tabor area of Portland in Multnomah County
On February 26, 1904, a tornado struck the vicinity of Mount Tabor on Portland's east side. Four houses were destroyed. Others were moved off their foundations. Damage totaled $5,000. The Oregonian, February 27, 1904, reported that the tornado, spotted at 10:42 a.m., was "not unlike a giant express train... Its width was 50 to 100 feet and its height several times that." The Oregonian included a photo of the Starbuck residence which was virtually wrecked by the tornado. From Oregon Climate Service Report.
June 8, 1894, near Long Creek in Grant County
The following is a reprint from the Long Creek Eagle newspaper of June 8, 1894:
"Last Sunday morning, the rays of the morning sun pierced every nook of the valley, but was soon obscured from sight, and as the hour of high twelve drew nearer, the air seem to become oppressive. About eleven o'clock a distant thunder was heard and before one half hour had elapsed the entire heavens was a mass of angry clouds floating with great velocity in all directions, and the distant peals of thunder had been replaced by a noise resembling the cannonading of armies in a deadly conflict. Clouds flew hither and thither, thicker and faster, apparently stampeding in every direction. With a roar and a rumble which was no less than the effect of a severe wind storm in the forest surrounding Fox Valley, two angry looking clouds met on the summit of the mountain three miles south of Long Creek and the work of destruction began in all its fury, taking its course almost due north. A heavy growth of timber on the mountainside one-half mile in width fell before it as readily as grain before a sickle, and in but very few seconds, the entire eastern portion of Long Creek was at its mercy. Dwellings, barns, and store buildings were lifted into the air as if but the weight of a feather, and torn to atoms, portions of which was carried for miles distant. For a moment the air was a thickened mass of missiles, flying in every direction.
Those occupying the residence of C. H. Lee, Riley Thompson, and D. J. Parrish had failed to fly to places of safety before the approach of the cyclone, and as soon as the storm had passed those who were fortunate hurried to the relief of the wounded and dying...."
This tornado was devastating, traveling almost due north from atop a mountain 3 miles south of town. Three persons were killed and seven persons seriously injured.
The following is another excerpt from the Grant County Blue Mountain Eagle of June 22, 1951:
"...Long Creek residents pointed that it has only been in the past few years that new growth timber has covered the slash made through the forests south of Long Creek by the fury on the storm...."
June 14, 1887, near Lexington and Long Creek in Morrow and Grant Counties
On June 14, 1887, a tornado was reported to have struck Lexington, Oregon, killing one man and causing considerable damage. About the same time, another tornado was supposed to have struck Long Creek, tearing up considerable timber from Long Creek to near Monument.
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