Jul 272010

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Monday’s tornado in Montana was rated EF3, with winds in the 135 to 165 mph range….

Local Montana news KBZK

Pictures and video from TWC

Even for video shot using a cell phone from what looks like at least 25 miles into the distance, that tornado looks impressive.

- Jim

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A tornadic supercell moved through a ranch a few miles west of Reserve, Montana Monday evening around 7:30 p.m. MDT, killing two people and injuring one.  The storm formed around 4:30 p.m. on the U.S./Canadian border in northeastern Montana.  It moved southeast for over two hours before the first tornado was reported by Sheridan county dispatch well west of Reserve at 7:30 p.m.  The storm weakened as it crossed into North Dakota later Monday evening.

AP Story: Tornado Kills 2

Canadian Press: Tornado Kills 2

Glasgow, MT radar at 7:16 p.m. MDT July 26, just before the first tornado was reported

Glasgow, MT radar at 7:16 p.m. MDT July 26, just before the first tornado was reported

The image above shows the supercell moving southeast across northeastern Montana just before the first tornado report was received by law enforcement.  The storm has a pronounced hook echo, which is one indication on radar of a possible tornado.  However, the storm formed hours earlier along the U.S Canadian border in northeastern Montana.  The supercell looked very impressive for about an hour as it moved southeast through rural areas of Montana, and may have produced tornadoes that simply were not reported well before it came anywhere close to Reserve.

This tornado reminds all of us that violent, deadly tornadoes don’t always occur in the classic or more popular chase regions of the Great Plains.  While some chasers, including myself, do consider northeastern Montana an acceptable area to chase, others probably don’t, and may have never considered that area prone to tornadoes.   This time of the year, tornadoes are not uncommon from Montana, the Dakotas into Saskatchewan and Manitoba, CA.  In fact, some chasers that are not able to chase during May and June venture into the Canadian prairies in July in search of that elusive tornado.

This tornado also reminds us all to always take tornado warnings seriously!  Taking action can save your life.  And I know most people find it inconvenient to step away from the dinner table, the television, or the computer to take shelter.  Trust me, it’s hard enough for me to convince family members over the phone to heed tornado warnings.  But folks, it’s worth it if it means the difference between life and death.  And I know that usually we think we’ll luck out, that the tornado will miss us, and then we go on with our lives.  Maybe that’s what the people in that ranch west of Reserve, Montana thought last night too…

Storm reports from the SPC valid July 26.

Storm reports from the SPC valid July 26.

- Jim

  4 Responses to “Two Fatalities near Reserve, Montana from Tornado July 26”

  1. The sole survivor was found in the basement next to her dead ten-year-old grandson.
    “Seek shelter in a basement” is exactly what the National weather service advises in Glasgow, MT.

  2. That is tragic. It’s just so sad how people can still die while seeking the appropriate shelter from a violent tornado.

  3. Has anyone noticed that most of the “big days” have busted and that the underdogs that noone thought would do anything have really gone nuts? Sort of like that Sibley, IA tornado or the Bowdle, SD, etc. By the way my heart goes out to those who suffered from the montana tornado.

  4. Well, it is true that some of the biggest tornado days of the year have occurred from setups that looked good, but not amazing. But then the setup ends up producing more tornadoes (photogenic even) than was expected. What a season.

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