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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Feb. 28, 2024

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Small tornado briefly touches down in La Center

By , Columbian staff reporter

A small tornado briefly touched down Wednesday afternoon in La Center, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

Radar determined the tornado, which was given a preliminary rating of EF-0, occurred at 2:40 p.m., and it appeared to be on the ground for less than a minute, according to the weather service. Meteorologist Daniel Hartsock described it as a skinny, ropelike cloud.

“We’ve seen videos of trash cans moving around, a basketball hoop that fell over, some roof shingles that were ripped off and flying around in the air,” Hartsock said.

Hartsock said this region usually sees one or two small tornadoes a year. In 2021, a similar EF-0 tornado touched down in Battle Ground. Some residents in that tornado’s path lost power for a moment.

Forecasters had been noting for the past few days that conditions were primed for potential funnel clouds or water spouts, Hartsock said.

The tornado came toward the end of a rainy bout for the area, while forecasters predicted conditions drying out and warming up today and Friday. But meteorologists say the rain will return Friday night, and spotty showers and cool temperatures will likely stick around through the beginning of next week.