Summer Weather:
Convection Information & Safety

 

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Tornado
Flood | Hail | Lightning

Natrona County Funnel - 6/20/2009Technically defined, a tornado is a violent rotating column in contact with the ground that is attached to a parent thunderstorm.  On a local scale it is the most destructive of all meteorological phenomena.  Many tornadoes last for only a few minutes and are on the ground for a few miles.  Other tornadoes can persist for hours, travel more than a hundred miles, and have a mile wide path

In Wyoming, tornadoes are relatively rare compared with the Midwest and Plains states.  In central Oklahoma, (the national maximum) tornadoes occur about 20 times more frequently than in the same size area in central Wyoming. Yet certain parts of Wyoming are significantly more prone to these destructive storms than are other parts.  In general, the eastern half of the state is more likely to experience tornadoes due mainly to the increase of available moisture at the lower levels of the atmosphere. Below is an image indicating the distribution and strength of tornadoes across central and western Wyoming.

NWS Riverton Tornadoes


 
             

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