Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Odd Strong Storm Spawns Huge Manitoba Tornado, Wyoming Snow

The tornado in Manitoba, Canada was so strong it ripped
up asphalt on a road. Photo by storm chaser Greeg Johnson.  
A low pressure system, strong for this time of year, is causing all kinds of unusual weather in the Northern Plains of the U.S., parts of the praries in south central Canada, and in the Rocky Mountains.

Storm systems are usually weak this time of year, but this one really wound up.

Yesterday, it spawned a gigantic, really strong tornado in Manitoba. The tornado stayed on the ground for nearly three hours, says CBC, the Canadian broadcaster. 

That's unusual, since tornadoes, especially in that part of the world, typically stay on the ground for no more than several minutes.

Luckily, it hit sparsely populated areas, because it was a powerful one It ripped asphalt up from one road, for example.

I have a mixed mind about the video, below, as these Reed Timmer and his group of tornado chasers get much too close to it repeatedly. But it is an incredible sight. Especially the multiple vortices rotating within the main tornado.

News about very odd snow, high winds and other features below the video of the Manitoba tornado

Behind the front, it snowed in Montana and Wyoming. Yep, snow in July.

Snow in July is not unheard of in the highest elevations in the Rockies, but it's pretty rare. Especially since this one got down to 8,000 feet above sea level and hit quite a few areas.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Glacier National Park were among the areas to report snow.

It was cold in the valleys, too. Around 3 p.m. Monday, it was raining hard in Missoula, Montana with a temperature of 47 degrees. In July!

Don't worry, summer is not over in Missoula. By this weekend, daytime highs there will be in the mid 80s.  
It probably would have been a good idea to break
out the rock skis in Jackson Hole, Wyoming yesterday.  

On the bright side, all that rain that came down  with this storm in many of Montana's lower elevations, putting a dent in a drought and helping suppress forest fires burning in the region, says the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune.

Of course, the heavy rain falling on burn areas increased the risk of flash floods, since vegetation was gone.

Another strange aspect of this storm is the strong winds blowing across eastern Montana and the western Dakotas. 

Such strong west and northwest winds are common there in the winter, but not this time of year.

Leaves on the trees act as little sails, so when these strong winds hit trees in full leaf, it will pull them down more easily than in the winter. So the northwestern Plains are bracing for power failures and such today.

As the storm keeps moving into Canada, summer weather will gradually make a return to the areas that got this July winter reminder.

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