OMAK — A National Weather Serivce forecaster Friday determined that an intense wind storm that ripped through the Omak region between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday was not caused by a tornado.
“It was not a tornado,” said Forecaster Steve Bodnar early Saturday. Bodnar spend a few hours in Omak Friday afternoon inspecting damage from the storm, which uprooted trees, downed powerlines and tore metal off roofs. Wind gusts reach 62 mph just outside of Okanogan, according to Weather Service records, and 0.35 inches of rain fell in about 10 minutes.
“Every tree was leaning from south to north. It didn’t have circulating winds. We look for damage leaning in all directions,” Bodnar said.
A warm, sunny Memorial Day weekend is expected to end on a stormy note late Monday, when a storm packing potentially severe rain, wind and sizeable hail rolls into to Eastern Washington, Bodnar said. Currently hovering over the Pacific Ocean, the storm is expected to blow in Monday and remain much of next week, Bodnar said.
Flash flooding is possible, especially in the areas recently scarred by wildfire, he said. New fire starts by lightning strikes aren’t likely with this wet a storm, he said.
— Mike Irwin and Christine Pratt, World staff