Washington, Oregon could experience worst storm in 50 years this weekend

A system that moved through the Pacific Northwest Thursday night and Friday morning was only a prelude to what could be a historic-level storm on Saturday, according to local meteorologists.

At least four tornado warnings were issued on the Washington coast and one tornado touched down in the Oregon coastal town of Manzanita on Friday. There were no immediate reports of injuries after the tornado struck at 8:25 a.m., but several homes were damaged and two businesses were destroyed.

In addition, isolated thunderstorms moved through parts of the region and numerous lightning strikes were reported in Oregon and Washington.

On Thursday, Portland experienced record rainfall of more than 1.7 inches as the first of two storm fronts moved through the area.

The weather was just a small taste of what could happen Saturday afternoon into early Sunday morning in Washington and Oregon, where along the coast wind gusts could reach 100 mph. According to weather models, the weekend storm is on track to be one of the most powerful systems to move through the region in over 50 years.

In all, some 16 trillion gallons of rain is forecast to fall on Washington, Oregon and California over the next week, 2 trillion gallons more than fell on the U.S. during Hurricane Matthew, according to WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue.

The "highly dangerous" windstorm has the potential to rival the the most powerful storm in Northwest history. The historic Columbus Day Storm  killed 46 people in 1962.

Power outages and urban flooding are likely with the storm, and coastal flooding is also possible.

The storm is expected to be the strongest from 3 p.m. on Saturday to 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Already on Friday, at least 29,000 people were without power in Washington state, with that number likely to rise as the severe weather continued in the area.

The systems are remnants of Typhoon Songda, brought to the region by an atmospheric river, which is also expected to bring rain to parts of California.

USA TODAY's Doyle Rice contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment