Tornado, 3 funnel clouds whip Western Oregon

Tornado, 3 funnel clouds whip Western Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. - A tornado and three funnel clouds whipped Oregon on Thursday, including an EF1 storm that damaged buildings in McMinnville and two cold core funnels that twisted over the southern Willamette Valley.

The National Weather Service compiled details on the 4 twisters.

The McMinnville storm touched the ground and tore across a section of town, the only tornado reported Thursday.

The three cold core funnel clouds - twisters that don't touch the ground - wound ominously in the sky for several minutes. No damaged was reported.

The first cold core funnel cloud lasted about 3 minutes over Finley National Wildlife Refuge outside of Corvallis, the weather service said. A member of the public photographed and reported the storm around 1:13 p.m.

The other three storms happened in rapid succession later in the day.

First, the EF1 storm touched down in Yamhill County at 4:33 p.m. and carved its way across the City of McMinnville with 86+ mph winds.

Then, at least two people spotted a funnel cloud near Harrisburg in Linn County around 4:44 p.m. The funnel lasted at least 8 minutes.

Shortly after 5 p.m., a weather spotter at the Hillsboro Airport saw a funnel cloud over Washington County for about 5 minutes.

Approximately 1,000 tornadoes are spawned by thunderstorms each year nationwide, according to the weather service.

Tornado events are rare in Oregon. Between 1950 and 1995, there were 50 tornadoes recorded, most rated F0 (light damage) or F1 (moderate damage) on the Fujita scale. The Fujita scale assigns numerical values based on wind speeds and categorizes tornadoes from 0 to 5.

There is no record of death or injury due to a tornado in Oregon.