Storms hit Willamette Valley; pilot reports funnel cloud

Storms hit Willamette Valley; pilot reports funnel cloud »Play Video
Hail that fell during a thunderstorm near Newberg on Thursday afternoon. (Photo submitted through KATU mobile app)

PORTLAND, Ore. – A pilot called the National Weather Service on Thursday afternoon to report a funnel cloud in a thunderstorm between Wilsonville and Aurora, NWS forecasters said.

The pilot spotted the funnel cloud, known as a “cold core funnel cloud,” around 2:47 p.m. He said the funnel did not touch down and later dissipated.

NWS forecasters warned that additional cold core funnel clouds could form during the afternoon.

KATU Meteorologist Dave Salesky said isolated thunderstorms are possible through SW Washington and the Willamette Valley until the sun goes down later today and the atmosphere settles down.

In Salem, state employees at the Capitol City Business office on 25th Avenue NE said that a skylight blew off the building.

They said they believe it was a funnel cloud they saw. One employee said it sounded like an airplane landing on the roof.

Another woman, Kari Ramsey, was outside having lunch when it happened.

"Suddenly there was like this big gust of wind, and I kind of looked around and just about a 100 feet from my car there was this swirly thing going on with all this debris," she said. "There were flower petals from the trees and bushes and stuff coming up; and it was this big whirlwind, and it was shaking the car, and it was shaking the trees next to me."

Employees said an eerie darkness enveloped the area and it started raining and hailing right after the funnel cloud. Employees had to cover items inside with plastic.

The building engineer quickly fixed the skylight.

In the Newberg area, a KATU.com mobile app user reported 20 minutes of heavy hail on thunderstorms.