June 10, 2008 Rare Tornado in the Black Hills

A tornado touched down in the western Black Hills between Newcastle, Wyoming and Lead, South Dakota Tuesday evening, June 10.  A National Weather Service meteorologist confirmed a tornado occurred after a damage survey of the area.

The tornado first touched down three and a half miles southeast of Four Corners, Wyoming about 6:50 pm MDT and blew down trees along Beaver Creek Road.  A continuous path of downed trees was noted from just southeast of the Beaver Creek Campground in the South Dakota portion of the Black Hills National Forest northeastward to Forest Service Road 110, a distance of three and a half miles.  Large pine, spruce, and aspen trees were blown down and many were snapped.  Based on the type of damage, winds were estimated at 110 mph, giving the storm a rating of EF1 on a scale of EF0 to EF5.  No structure damage was observed.

Doppler radar indicated the tornado initially developed around 6:50 pm MDT and dissipated around 7:06 pm MDT.  No one witnessed the tornado.

While tornadoes in the Black Hills are not as common as on the surrounding plains, they do occur.  The last tornado reported in the Black Hills was a brief funnel sighted northwest of Custer on July 7, 2001.

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