Weather Blog

Very weak tornado touched down near Toledo on Monday

It might go down as one of the weakest tornadoes in U.S. history, but nonetheless, a very small tornado touched down near Toledo, Washington on Monday, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

Their storm team went to the home Wednesday afternoon to survey the damage after John Houk and another eyewitnesses reported the tornado touchdown in a field behind Houk's home, which is 8 miles east of Toledo on the Cowlitz River. Sure enough, the weather sleuths found branches up to 3" in diameter ripped off several trees and some deck plastic way-board roof damage.

Houk said the tornado was only on the ground for about 20 seconds.

The National Weather Service said the tornado spanned 110 yards and had an estimated width of a mere 5 yards. It's maximum wind speed was estimated at 65 mph.

That puts it in the lowest EF0 rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and I suppose if they had an EF(-1), this would qualify. And I'm sure any friends you have in Texas or other parts of Tornado Alley would scoff at calling this a tornado, instead referring to it as a "light breeze."