Spring? State hit by snow, tornado

SEATTLE — Sure, it’s spring, but Thursday’s weather in Washington state featured enough snow to close the main east-west route across the Cascade Mountains and a barn-busting tornado in the southwest part of the state.

The state Transportation Department temporarily closed Interstate 90 across Snoqualmie Pass between Ellensburg and North Bend on Thursday evening, citing snowy conditions and spun-out vehicles.

Compact snow, ice and spin-outs also temporarily closed a portion of State Highway 18 over Tiger Mountain, about 25 miles east of Seattle.

The National Weather Service office in Portland, Ore., confirms a weak tornado packing winds of 65 to 85 mph ripped apart a barn in Hockinson, Wash., near Vancouver. No one was hurt.

Irene Gitner tells KATU-TV she watched the sky turn black and a “white twister” settled on her family’s barn roof.

The Weather Service in Seattle said hail and light snow fell in some other areas of Western Washington. Meteorologist Chris Burke said a drying trend should follow.

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