July 13, 2009 Tornado in the Bear Lodge Mountains

A large tornado ripped across the Bear Lodge Mountains of northeastern Wyoming the evening of July 13, toppling trees and destroying buildings on a ranch.

Much of the roof was torn off the house on the ranch.  A large wooden barn and two metal garages were totally demolished.  Roofing and siding were torn from a mobile home.

A survey by the National Weather Service estimated the winds reached 120 to 130 mph based on the extent of damage.  The tornado was given a rating of EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale ranking of zero through five.

An aerial survey conducted by the State of Wyoming indicated the tornado touched down west of Cook Lake and traveled in an east-southeast direction for 9.5 miles before dissipating just west of Wyoming Highway 111 and north of Interstate 90.  The tornado itself was about a half mile wide, but strong winds feeding into the funnel downed trees in a mile wide swath across much of the forested areas, which blocked many Forest Service roads.

Metal shop destroyed 

Remants of a metal shop building

Tornado damage

Building and tree damage

Tree damage

Tree and building damage

Large oak tree felled by
tornado

Large oak tree felled by tornado

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