A tornado warning, heavy rain, hail, high winds, severe thunderstorms, snow and a small earthquake were a part of a mixed bag of events that occurred during a dramatic Tuesday in Washington state.

The National Weather Service issued various advisories and warnings across the region.

The morning started sunny but windy in Seattle, with debris strewn across neighborhoods from Monday night’s storms. Then came the rain, more wind and statewide power outages.

A high-wind advisory was issued for the interior, including Seattle and Everett, and a high-wind warning was in place along the coast, some of Western Washington and in the Cascade Mountains, said NWS meteorologist Mary Butwin.

Waves got as high as 30 feet on the drawn span of Hood Canal Bridge, which Washington State Department of Transportation was forced to close most of Tuesday.

Six Seattle district schools closed because of power outages, and the district’s indoor lunch program was implemented because of winds that reached 45 mph in Seattle and Bellevue Tuesday.


A tornado warning was issued for Silverdale, Tracyton and Seabeck in Kitsap County around 11:40 a.m. It was withdrawn within an hour, but not before hundreds of Seattle residents were erroneously alerted about the tornado on their phones and ordered to take shelter.

While rotation was spotted on the thunderstorm near Silverdale, nothing ever materialized, according to NWS meteorologist Mike McFarland. The warning that was issued for Silverdale, he said, was mistakenly sent to people shortly after noon in Seattle — including in Ballard, Greenwood, Bainbridge Island and the University District — likely after miscommunication between the weather service and cellphone carriers.

Then, more rain, wind and outages.

Before 1 p.m., the Coast Guard joined the Everett fire and police departments in searching for a missing kayaker off Jetty Island amid the onslaught of rain and wind.

A kayaker was heard screaming for help on a 911 call, according to authorities. A dispatcher was unable to make out anything else. Searchers found an empty kayak about an hour later, but despite an hourslong search involving several boats, a helicopter and drones, the search was called off.

Shortly after 2 p.m., a small earthquake rattled the Big Lake region. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network reported an earthquake with a 3.0 magnitude about six miles east of Mount Vernon.

Crews responded to various scenes of downed trees and utility poles in the region, including in Madison, where a pole toppled onto a passing truck and a nearby building.


Heavy snow and wet conditions in the Olympic and Cascade mountains led to WSDOT’s decision to close the Chinook and Cayuse passes for the season starting Wednesday.

“The risk of avalanche is too great,” the agency said.

For a moment, rain and hail ceased in the afternoon in time to showcase a rainbow gracing the Seattle sky. The sight quickly faded as another round of blustering storms rolled in.

Wednesday is set to be less eventful day with showers expected, mainly in the afternoon, and with wind in Seattle expected to reach less than 10 mph, according to the weather service.

“At my place, the rain was going sideways for a while. [There will be] none of that,” said NWS meteorologist Dana Felton