Tornadoes are among the most powerful and destructive natural disasters on the planet and who didn't become enamored with tornadoes due to the movie "Twister"?

attachment-RS32575_Tornado Warning (Brandon James -Townsquare Media)

It was one of my favorite movies of the 90s.

Tornadoes might not strike as frequently in Washington State as they do in other parts of the country, but tornadoes can still cause serious damage when they do touch down.

I thought it would interesting and see how many tornadoes have touched down in Washington State through the years. I was actually surprised by the results of my research and found that tornadoes do indeed touchdown in Washington State.

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How Many Tornadoes Have Touched Down in Washington State?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center, there have been a total of 118 documented tornadoes in Washington State from 1953 to 2021.

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This includes both confirmed and unconfirmed tornadoes but it's important to note that tornadoes can be difficult to detect and document, so there may have been additional tornadoes that were not officially recorded.

Where Do Most Tornadoes Hit In Washington State?

Most of the documented tornadoes occurred near Puget Sound or along the western coast of Washington. The largest concentration of these storms was around Snohomish County. 

The deadliest tornado on record was a rating of E3 in the Vancouver, WA area on April 5, 1972. The tornado killed six people and injured 300 people according to

Pierce County and King County also have seen their fair share of tornados.

Washington averages 2.5 tornado sightings a month.  Other counties with multiple reported tornado touchdowns include Grays Harbor, Cowlitz, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties.

Car Crushed by Tree
Graham Prentice

There are several small ones listed for the Tri-Cities area. The strongest recorded tornado was an EF2 near Wallula back on June 26th, 1958.

An EF0 tornado also touched down near Bofer Canyon Road near Kennewick on May 9th, 1956

An EF3 Tornado hit West Seattle back in 1969, causing over $250,000 in damage.

The tornados that mainly touchdown are between EF0 and EF2.

Missouri Residents Survey Tornado Damage
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While 118 recorded instances may seem like few compared to other parts of Tornado Alley such as Oklahoma or Missouri, it still shows us just how powerful Mother Nature can be - even here in our own corner of the world in Washington State. has designed a neat interactive map of tornado sightings since 1950 and you can see all the sightings here

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