Wild weather reported near Battle Ground

Calls about tornado appear to have been a false alarm

By Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

Published:

 

Lightning, thunder and hail, even a report of a possible tornado, struck east of Battle Ground Thursday afternoon, but it appeared the latter was a false alarm.

Clark County’s 911 dispatchers received a report of a tornado or funnel cloud over Northeast 157th Avenue and Northeast 199th Street at around 4 p.m.

Colby Neuman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland, said local officials surveyed the area and didn’t find any evidence of damage.

Dispatchers at the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, the county’s 911 service, said they ultimately received only one report of a tornado.

Neuman said people forwarded photos of the area to the weather service, and it appeared they were seeing “scud clouds.”

“Those are notorious for being confused for tornadoes or funnel clouds,” he said. “Basically, it’s a low-hanging, often ragged, wispy cloud that often hangs below the base of showers or thunderstorms.”

Scud clouds don’t spin, he said, although they might have a funnel or tornado shape. Barring any reports of damage on the ground, it’s unlikely any tornado or funnel cloud formed in the area, he said.

That doesn’t mean the weather wasn’t wild.

At Daybreak Middle School, students were held an extra 20 minutes before they were released from class due to severe weather, Battle Ground district spokeswoman Rita Sanders said.

The district alerted families to the delayed release, Sanders added.