SPOKANE, Wash. - The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning out near Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington late Sunday night. It's a very rare phenomenon on this side of the country, but it does happen.
The last time the Spokane area saw a tornado was in the summer of 2016. A National Weather Service employee spotted a tornado in Airway Heights in July, and about two weeks later, witnesses spotted another tornado near Fairchild Air Force Base. Neither caused significant damage or injuries.
"They are fairly rare, especially east of the cascades in eastern Washington," NWS Meteorologist Todd Carter said.
In the off chance a Tornado Warning is issued, Carter said you should take shelter immediately.
"If your house is close by, you want to be in an interior room in your house, and it doesn't hurt to get in the bathtub and put a heavy blanket over you until the storm has passed," Carter recommended.
Though Carter wants you to remain aware of the possibility of a tornado, windstorms are a much bigger threat to Spokane, as they can cause more widespread damage, like the windstorm back in 2015.
If you'd like to learn more about how weather impacts eastern Washington, the National Weather Service is holding an open house on September 21st, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Click HERE to learn more.