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Weekly Wrap-Up: Tornado Destroys Dozens of Homes in Battle Ground, Washington

Persistent storms bringing excessive rainfall, gusty winds, mountain snow and severe weather were unrelenting across the northwestern United States this week.

At Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington, a 93-mph wind gust was measured on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The ski resort boasted on its Twitter feed on Monday, Dec. 7 that it had received 24 inches of snow in two days.

On Tuesday, Seattle set a record high of 60 F surpassing the previous daily record of 59 F from 1957. On the same day, the city's daily rainfall record was smashed with a new total of 2.13 inches, breaking the previous record of 1.61 inches set in 1971.

Tornado Leaves Trail of Destruction in Washington

A mudslide destroyed a home and caused several other families to evacuate in Burien, Washington, Tuesday night according to Kiro 7 News. Record-setting rains in Gresham, Oregon, caused travel problems when a 15-foot-deep sinkhole washed away a road.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency as the hazardous weather left thousands without power, closed major roadways and brought significant property damage. In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for 13 counties following heavy rain, high winds and landslides, which forced evacuations.

An EF-1 tornado was confirmed in Battle Ground, Washington, by the National Weather Service Office in Portland, Oregon, Thursday. No injuries or fatalities were reported but 36 homes and two businesses suffered damage.

As a result of abundant moisture in the air in the Midwest and Northeast, hoar frost was able to develop and provide a winterlike scene in many areas.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews, hoar frost is a frost formation taken to the next level.

"The air is so saturated and cold that ice crystals continue to grow and any surface is fair game," he said.

Storm Desmond, the fourth named storm of the season by the Met Office in the United Kingdom, brought damaging winds and heavy rain to parts of the U.K. and Ireland last weekend.

From Friday morning, Dec. 4 to Sunday morning, Dec. 6, the highest rainfall occurred in Cumbria, where 262.6 mm (10.3 inches) were recorded. Nearly 60,000 properties were without power Sunday morning.

According to the Associated Press, Britain's Army was called in to help with evacuations and to place sandbags down to help mitigate the severe flooding.

As Desmond whipped through the Faroe Islands, the storm's powerful winds were able to reverse the flow of a waterfall.

Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.