Strong Thunderstorms Possible Today

The National Weather Service
Building a Weather-Ready Nation

Summary | Monitoring & Reporting | Safety

As we transition into the summer months, the environment for stronger thunderstorms becomes more favorable as the days become longer and more moisture becomes avialable from the warming ocean surfaces. All that we need for a strong thunderstorm day is the right weather system to get things started. One of these systems is approaching the state this weekend into early next week, resulting in a possibility of thunderstorms across the state for the next few days; with the ingredients for strong to severe thunderstorm development coming together across the west and north today.

The ingredients necessary for severe thunderstorm development are: a lifting mechanism (provided by a weak cold front and by the mountains in this case), a moisture supply, an unstable atmosphere, and "spin" to organize a thunderstorm enough to maintain an updraft capable of producing large hail or tornadoes. These ingredients come together across the north and west this afternoon.

The main thunderstorm threat today will be damaging wind gusts. Most storms will produce wind gusts around 45 mph today...however, a few of the stronger storms could produce wind gusts in excess of 60 mph. Take the time now to secure loose items that could be blown around by the wind, especially if you live in the Northwestern portion of the state, in the Bighorn Basin, along the I-25 corridor (Casper, Kaycee, Buffalo). 

 The above shows the areas that are more likely to have a severe thunderstorm develop this afternoon and evening. Most of the storms today will not be severe, but a few could produce damaging winds across the state...with a hail the size of quarters possible, especially in the Northwest.

The red polygon shows where the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) expects the possibility of severe thunderstorms. Click on the picture to expand.

SPC Wind and Hail Threat For Today
SPC's Damaging Wind Threat Area SPC's Hail Threat Area

Anyone who has plans to visit Yellowstone National Park, Teton National Park, or Jackson Hole is urged to pay very close attention to the weather today. Thunderstorms can and do form suddenly and could turn a sunny day into a stormy one in a matter of minutes. Thunderstorms that do form in the north and west today are capable of producing hail, damaging winds, and frequent lightning. You do not want to find yourself without shelter in these storms!

Please keep an eye on our website for changes and updates to the forecast today, and especially on Saturday for possible watches and warnings.

For more information on the weekend weather, please view this week's video briefing, and take a look at the Hazardous Weather Outlook

Monitor our Severe Weather Summary Page for current Warnings, Watches, and Advisories. What's the difference?
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