Rare Tornadoes Touch Down Locally
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 13, 2017
Park and Big Horn Counties yesterday evening witnessed our first major storm of the season.
While our region fared better than the southeast corner of Wyoming, we still saw our fair share of severe weather, including two tornado touchdowns. Brandy Bourque, intern meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Riverton, said at 8 p.m. yesterday that in Park County, only one tornado had been reported, but the county was under a severe thunderstorm warning for much of the evening.
Bourque said that small hail and wind was reported, but there was no storm related damage to their knowledge – although social media posts from residents in Big Horn County included videos of a tornado touching down briefly near Otto.
The Cody Nite Rodeo was canceled after severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issued – organizers apologized for the inconvenience, but said that their concerns were for the safety of spectators, participants and livestock.
Park County District 2 Fire Marshal Sam Wilde said that large hail was reported north of Meeteetse, and as of 8 p.m. last night their department was busy responding to storm-related fires in Oregon Basin and on Green Creek Road up the North Fork.
Bourque added that it was unusual for a severe storm to be spread throughout such a large area – baseball sized hail fell in the Wheatland and Cheyenne areas, damaging property there; and a tornado tore the roof off a barn and caused other damage near Carpenter, Wyoming, south of Burns in the southeastern corner of the state.
–Photo taken by resident Timarie Wardell