PORT ORCHARD — A rare tornado warning was issued for Kitsap County at midday Tuesday by the National Weather Service after tornadic cloud rotation was spotted on Doppler radar, indicating a funnel was either on the ground or imminent.
The weather service pinpointed the Silverdale, Tracyton and Seabeck areas, and the northern tip of Bainbridge Island, as being in the crosshairs of the cloud rotation.
The warning, which was issued at 11:40 a.m., was canceled at 12:30 p.m., but dark thunderstorm cloud formations continued to be a worry for county emergency officials as they crossed the Kitsap Peninsula. Rumbling thunderclouds shook homes in the South Kitsap area for a time following the tornado warning cancellation.
Foot ferry sailings across Sinclair Inlet between Port Orchard and Bremerton were halted while the tornado warning was in effect. The Hood Canal Bridge was closed for a stretch and Bainbridge Island school students were sheltered in place during the warning, KIRO-TV reported.
Three years ago in December, an EF-2 tornado briefly touched down in Port Orchard near Walmart and caused significant damage to three blocks of a residential neighborhood and damaged some businesses along Bethel Avenue.
A look back to the Dec. 18, 2018 tornado in Port Orchard:
Port Orchard tornado coverage in December 2018.