SPOKANE, Wash. - A tornado in Eastern Washington? According to data from the National Weather Service (NWS), there's a chance one could touch down, albeit a small one.
Anthony Cavallucci, National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist, said he was tracking weather phenomena typical of tornados including moisture, strong wind, instability - which could include cold-warm air mix - and a trigger that would bring all this together. Plus, KHQ Meteorologist Bill Kelly said Eastern Washington is currently seeing high levels of moisture right now which the area don't typically see, and that's also adding to this mix.
By Friday, the weather patterns were changing and data suggested that our area might not, in fact, have all the conditions necessary for a tornado to strike.
"We're missing that trigger - something to get that air to rise rapidly. Usually we're looking for a cold front or a mountain or something," Cavallucci continued. "Yesterday, you might have a 50 to 60 percent chance of a tornado but today probably 30 percent chance or less of that happening."
Cavallucci said May and June are the months Spokane could typically see tornados, although they are few and far between. On average, the NWS reports 0.8 per year in our area.
Even if a twister doesn't strike, Bill Kelly said weather will be bad including thunderstorms that could bring quarter-sized hail! Right now, the biggest threat is near the Blue Mountains in southeast Washington as well as Asotin, Garfield and Lewiston Counties.
As a result of these weather predictions, University of Idaho officials announced plans Friday plan to move the Law Commencement ceremony to the Idaho commons food court. At this time, the university's main ceremony will continue as planned.
KHQ Weather Authority: http://www.khq.com/weather