Posted: Jun 12, 2012 6:52 AM by Mike Rawlins - MTN News
Updated: Jun 12, 2012 9:19 AM
GREAT FALLS- Severe storms raked parts of central Montana earlier this month in a rare severe weather event,
Meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Great Falls finished a damage assessment on Monday afternoon and released their findings late Monday night.
Three separate tornadoes were confirmed; one in Meagher County, one in Judith Basin County and a third in Chouteau County.
The first tornado of June 5th touched down at around 3:40 p.m. just east-southeast of White Sulphur Springs, near the Castle Mountain Estates subdivision.
The path was approximately two miles in length and 300 yards wide and debris was scattered around the tornado track in an area up to 500 yards in width. As a result of damage to the city's water treatment system, a Boil Advisory was issued for the area.
This tornado was rated an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. An EF-1 rating denotes winds of 86-110 mph with moderate damage.
A second tornado struck rural areas of northeast Judith Basin County around 6:12 p.m.
This tornado did not affect any structures and a damage/debris path was not located by the survey team.Storm chasers report the tornado was on the ground for eleven minutes.
Several structures near Hobson were damaged by strong winds, but meteorologists from the NWS say a microburst is to blame. (a microburst is a downdraft or sinking air in a thunderstorm that is less than 2.5 miles in scale)
Winds of over 100 mph were measured by a cooperative weather observer in the area at the time. This tornado was rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. An EF-0 rating denotes winds of 65-85 mph with minor damage.
A third tornado touched down in rural areas southeast of Big Sandy in Chouteau County..
This tornado formed after 6:55 p.m. and created a debris path up to 100 yards wide with a path that was a mile long, and 75 yards in width.
Because it moved over rural areas, no major damage was reported. But, strong straight-line winds did down trees near a ranch on Warrick Road, but the tornado did not affect this area.
This tornado was rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. An EF-0 rating denotes winds of 65-85 mph with minor damage.
The photo at the top of this page was taken by storm chaser Jesse Risley who tracked the storm through Chouteau County.