June 14 - Severe Thunderstorms Hit Portions of Western and Northern Wyoming Wednesday

An upper level disturbance brought severe thunderstorms to portions of Western and Northern Wyoming Wednesday.  A line of showers and thunderstorms moved into Western Wyoming from Eastern Idaho around 930 AM.  The first supercell thunderstorm moved through the lower Star Valley from Thayne through Alpine between 935 AM and 10 AM, producing penny to quarter-sized hail.  This storm crossed the Snake River Canyon and into southern Jackson Hole by 1030 AM, moving through the city of Jackson around 1040 AM.  This storm produced quarter to golf ball-sized hail.  The storm moved up the valley, finally dissipating in the Teton Wilderness northeast of Moran around noon.  Another supercell moved north along the west slopes of the Teton Mountains and south central Yellowstone National Park between 1015 AM and 1145 AM.  Penny-sized hail was reported covering the ground at Grand Targhee Resort at 1025 AM.

Attention then shifted from Western Wyoming to the Big Horn Basin in north central Wyoming where a Tornado Watch went into effect at 1105 AM.  The first strong storm in the area developed north of Chief Joseph Pass in the northern Absaroka Mountains around 1045 AM.  The storm moved down the Clark’s Fork Canyon and into the Clark area around 1120 AM, with mainly pea-sized hail reported.  The next storm formed off the Absarokas east of Meeteetse around 11 AM.  This storm redeveloped over the same location for about a half hour before taking off to the northeast of Meeteetse along the Greybull River.  Pea to Penny sized hail was reported with this storm.  Doppler Radar then began indicating strong rotation within the storm shortly after noon.  Reports of funnel clouds in the area prompted the issuance of a Tornado warning at 1225 PM.  The storm intensified as it moved into southwest Big Horn County dropping golf ball and larger sized hail in the Emblem and Burlington areas between 1240 and 1255 PM.  This strong supercell continued its northeast track, staying over rural Big Horn County until it moved into Montana northeast of Lovell.  No tornadoes were reported.  Another supercell formed over west central Big Horn County around 1250 PM, moving through Byron around 105 PM with nickle-sized hail.  The storm moved northeast into the Lovell area around 110 PM, with golf ball-sized hail reported 5 miles southwest of town.  Quarter-sized hail was reported in the city of Lovell around 120 PM.  Hail to around two inches in diameter and wind gusts estimated at 70 to 75 mph occurred east of Lovell.  This supercell continued to move northeast into southern Montana near the latter storm.  The last supercell formed over far southwest Big Horn County around 1 PM, with, which moved through Otto around 120 PM.  This storm then dissipated as it moved into cooled air from the latter storms north of Highway 20 16.  No reports were received from this storm.  Click on the following link for Local Storm Reports.

Golf ball-sized hail in Jackson
(Courtesy of Joel Barnes)
Northern Big Horn County Map
Southern Big Horn County Map 
Corn field (1 foot tall plants before storm) leveled by hail near Lovell
Hailstones near Lovell
(Courtesy of Tracy Bassett)
Hail indent on solar light near Lovell
House damage from hail near Lovell
(Courtesy of Rich Fink)
Power pole damage from wind near Big Horn Mountains
(Courtesy of Rich Fink)

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