Archive for July, 2010

A new hailstone record!

July 30, 2010

South Dakota Storm Produces Record Hailstone

NOAA’s National Climate Extremes Committee, responsible for validating national weather records, has declared a hailstone found last week in Vivian, S.D., to be the largest in diameter and heaviest ever recovered in the United States.

Found after a July 23, 2010, severe thunderstorm by Vivian resident Les Scott, the hailstone is 8.0 inches in diameter and weighs 1.9375 pounds (1 pound, 15 ounces) with a circumference of 18.62 inches.
These measurements displace the previous hailstone record for weight, previously 1.67 pounds for a stone in Coffeyville, Kan., in 1970. They also surpass the record for diameter, which was 7 inches for a hailstone found in Aurora, Neb., in 2003. The Aurora hailstone still holds the record for circumference of 18.75 inches.

“I’m just glad nobody got hurt and hope the town will recover soon,” Scott said.

David Hintz, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s Aberdeen weather forecast office said a local power outage likely led to the hailstone melting some before it could be measured. “Mr. Scott told me the area was littered with large hailstones and the largest had a greater diameter when he first found it. He immediately stored it and several others in his freezer, but a power outage caused some melting.”
After getting Hintz’ notice of a possible record hailstone, personnel at National Weather Service Central Region headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., requested activation of the National Climatic Extremes Committee to examine and judge Scott’s hailstone. Personnel from the Aberdeen office traveled to Vivian to measure and weigh the hailstone, and then turned their findings over to the three-person committee. After a thorough review of the facts, committee members certified its record-breaking status.

Susan Buchanan
Acting Director of NOAA Communications & External Affairs
@ the National Weather Service

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Updated Report on NE Montana Tornado

July 28, 2010

One of the strongest tornadoes to strike Montana was near Medicine Lake in the far eastern part of Montana. Dallas Aero was able to capture these two photos from the air to show the extensive damage. The tornado killed two people and injured a third.

Evaluated as a EF3 with winds of 150 mph or more local experts continue to examine the site just west of Reserve, Montana.

Courtesy: Dallas Aero

Courtesy: Dallas Aero

Here is the latest statement issued by the National Weather Service in Glasgow this afternoon:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GLASGOW MT
252 PM MDT WED JUL 28 2010

...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...

...DAMAGE SURVEY COMPLETED FOR SIGNIFICANT TORNADO IN SHERIDAN COUNTY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN GLASGOW HAS
COMPLETED A SURVEY OF THE DAMAGE PATH OF A SIGNIFICANT TORNADO THAT STRUCK
SHERIDAN COUNTY ON THE EVENING OF JULY 26.  THE TORNADO INITIALLY TOUCHED
DOWN NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF WOLF ROAD AND SOUTH REDSTONE ROAD 12 MILES
SOUTH OF REDSTONE AT ABOUT 7:00 PM.   THE TORNADO TRACKED EAST SOUTH EAST AT
ABOUT 30 MPH AND LIFTED AT ABOUT 7:35 PM 7.5 MILES WEST NORTH WEST
OF MEDICINE LAKE...WITH A TOTAL PATH LENGTH OF 18 MILES.  THE MAXIMUM
WIDTH OF THE DAMAGE PATH WAS ABOUT .50 MILES...AND THE ESTIMATED WIDTH
NEAR THE SMITH FARM RESIDENCE...WHERE 2 FATALITIES AND 1 INJURY WERE
REPORTED...WAS .30 MILES.

IN ADDITION TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SMITH FARM...A SMALL BRIDGE WAS DESTROYED
ON 3 CORNERS ROAD...A VACANT HOUSE WAS REMOVED FROM ITS FOUNDATION 3
MILES NORTHWEST OF THE SMITH FARM...AND ABOUT 6 MILES OF POWER POLES WERE BROKEN
ALONG RESERVE AND WANSO ROADS.

THE TORNADO WAS RATED EF-3 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE WITH ESTIMATED WIND SPEEDS
AROUND 150 MPH.

THIS WAS ONE OF THE STRONGEST TORNADOES IN MONTANA HISTORY.  PREVIOUS TORNADOES
RATED F-3 IN INTENSITY ON THE FUJITA SCALE INCLUDE:

JUNE  7 1946    ROOSEVELT COUNTY     ONE FATALITY/ONE INJURY
JUNE 19 1952    WIBAUX COUNTY        ONE FATALITY/TWO INJURIES
JULY  5 1988    CHOTEAU              TWO INJURIES

THIS WAS ALSO THE DEADLIEST TORNADO IN MONTANA HISTORY WITH THE 2 FATALITIES
EQUAL TO THE TWO FATALITIES IN A TORNADO LAST RECORDED ON JUNE 10 1923 IN
MINERAL COUNTY FROM A TORNADO RATED F1.

Northeast MT Tornado kills two, injures one.

July 27, 2010

West of Reserve, MT

PRESS RELEASE FROM SHERIDAN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

& GLASGOW NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

At approximately 7:15 PM (MDT) Monday, July 26, 2010 an EF3 tornado struck the Smith Ranch at 1313 Rock Springs Road, about 11 miles northwest of Medicine Lake, Montana.

The ranch buildings were demolished by the storm, with three members of the Smith family in the main home when the tornado hit. A community-wide response of area fire and EMS agencies, county authorities including the Sheriffs Department, Disaster and Emergency Services, US Border Patrol, and a large number of family members and neighbors mounted a hazardous and complex search operation during the night.  Sheridan County Sheriff Pat Ulrickson stated that, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.  The destruction is just indescribable.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Smith family today.”

Barbara Smith, 71 was transported from the basement of her demolished home to Sheridan Memorial Hospital in Plentywood by ambulance, and later evacuated to Billings.  Her grandson, Robert (“Robby”) Richardson, 10 and her nephew, Steven D. Smith, 46, were found dead at the scene.  Robby was also in the basement of the home; Steve was found about 200 feet away.  Coroner David Fulkerson attributed their deaths to blunt force head and chest injuries.

No other injuries attributable to the storm have been reported, although a few minor injuries were sustained by responders.

On Tuesday, July 27, 2010 officials from Sheridan County, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services and the National Weather Service in Glasgow conducted a damage assessment.  In addition to the significant property damage, including a two story house that was completely destroyed, a single wide trailer blown away, numerous outbuildings and ranch vehicles destroyed, there were also livestock and crop losses reported.  Approximately 20 cows were killed or seriously injured.  Another farm house, that was not lived in, was pushed off its foundation and the barn flattened.  Sheridan Electric Cooperative was repairing damage to approximately 6 miles of down power poles and lines.  They had restored power to all but a handful of customers by early morning.

The strong tornadic winds were estimated at the Smith Ranch to be approximately 150 miles per hour and it was rated an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale by National Weather Service meteorologists.  The tornado also ripped the deck off a county bridge over Wolf Creek on Three Corner Road.  The road is temporarily closed while the Sheridan County Road Department constructs a bypass.

Tanja Fransen, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service stated that yesterday’s tornado was one of the strongest and most deadly in Montana history.  Only three previous F3 tornadoes have been officially recorded:

DATE                                     LOCATION                           FATALITIES/INJURIES

June 7, 1946                            Roosevelt County                     one fatality/one injured

June 19, 1952                          Wibaux County                        one fatality/two injured

July 5, 1988                             Choteau County                       two injured

This tornado is the deadliest in Montana since the June 10, 1923 F1 tornado in Mineral County which resulted in two fatalities.

Fransen commented that, “this is a significant tornado for Montana.  The length of the tornado path, as well as the maximum width of the tornado is still being calculated but it originated in Daniels County and observers noted that it went up and came down several times as it traveled southeast from Daniels through Sheridan Counties.

Family, friends and neighbors were on scene this morning, assessing the damage and working on finding items that can be saved, and determining how to best clean up the debris.

The hummingbirds like the heat!

July 26, 2010

Hummingbird in the mountains loves the heat!

After a very warm weekend we are off to a warm start Monday! At 1 pm it is already 85 degrees and some morning clouds have broken up to give us plenty of sunshine. I suspect the swimming pool is busy today.

I managed to catch a snapshot of a hummingbird at meal time over the weekend, although the bird didn’t hang around too long. I guess perhaps just not real hungry.

The moon sure lit up the skies overnight Saturday evening! It was so bright you could barely see the stars, which are normally look like you could reach out and touch them!

Our hot weather is expected to cool down by tomorrow as high pressure gives up and moves eastward which will be replaced by a low pressure system. That will make our temperatures drop back closer to normal, the upper 70’s.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did. I see from driving by the Fairgrounds that the midway area is already in the process of being put together in time for Rockin’ Ride on Friday night.

It sure feels like fair weather outside today! We have a slight chance of some showers or thunderstorms, but our pattern appears pretty dry for Great Falls.

Have a great day!

A rainy night in Great Falls! State totals listed here.

July 23, 2010

After clouds and rain some clearing this afternoon!

There are still plenty of clouds around and it was a night of light rain. Accumulation was only about .10″ but it all helps the grass!

The clouds are starting to break up as we get ready to say goodbye to a low pressure system moving eastward and hello to high pressure just in time for the weekend!

Overnight we expect mostly clear skies.

Saturday and Sunday both sunny and hot with highs in the upper 80’s to lower 90’s. I suspect there will be a lot of people on the river and area lakes fishing and enjoying the nice weather.

I’ll be out in it, but a hat and shade is what I will be looking for!

Here is a report from the National Weather Service that includes precipitation up to 6 am this morning. Colstrip gets the honors for the most with two thirds of an inch.

Have a great weekend!

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
 935 AM MDT FRI JUL 23 2010

 ...FULL TIME STATIONS...
 HIGH TEMP YESTERDAY. 12 HOUR LOW TEMPERATURE...24 HOUR
 PRECIPITATION AND SNOWFALL...AND SNOW DEPTH AT 6 AM MDT.
 STATIONS ARE AUTOMATED AND MAY UNDERESTIMATE WINTER PRECIPITATION.

 .BR TFX 0723 M DH01/TAIRZX/DH05/TAIRZP/PPDRZZ/SFDRZZ/SDIRZZ
 :                                       YDAY 12-HR 24-HR  24-HR  SNOW
 :ID    STATION          ELEV            HIGH  LOW   PCPN   SNFL DEPTH
 BHK  : BAKER            2929 :           79 /  57 / 0.07 /      /
 BIL  : BILLINGS AIRPORT 3567 :           84 /  60 /    T /      /   0
 BZN  : BOZEMAN AIRPORT  4475 :           87 /  55 / 0.00 /      /
 BTM  : BUTTE            5700 :           79 /  50 / 0.00 /      /   0
 CTB  : CUT BANK         3838 :           78 /  51 / 0.39 /      /   0
 DLN  : DILLON AIRPORT   5200 :           79 /  53 / 0.00 /      /   0
 GGW  : GLASGOW          2285 :           81 /  58 / 0.20 /  0.0 /   0
 GDV  : GLENDIVE AIRPORT 2457 :            M /  59 / 0.01 /      /
 GTF  : GREAT FALLS ARPT 3664 :           83 /  52 / 0.07 /  0.0 /   0
 HVR  : HAVRE AIRPORT    2585 :           81 /  54 / 0.06 /  0.0 /   0
 HLN  : HELENA AIRPORT   3828 :           84 /  54 / 0.00 /  0.0 /   0
 JDN  : JORDAN           2662 :           85 /  55 / 0.34 /      /
 GPI  : KALISPELL ARPT   2965 :           78 /  48 / 0.24 /  0.0 /   0
 LWT  : LEWISTOWN ARPT   4145 :           77 /  49 / 0.03 /      /   0
 LVM  : LIVINGSTON       4653 :           85 /  57 / 0.05 /  0.0 /   0
 MLS  : MILES CITY ARPT  2628 :           80 /  61 /    T /      /
 MSO  : MISSOULA         3202 :           84 /  55 /    T /  0.0 /   0
 SDY  : SIDNEY AIRPORT   1985 :           79 /  61 / 0.27 /      /
 OLF  : WOLF POINT       1980 :           80 /  59 / 0.42 /      /    

 :OTHER AWOS AND CRN LOCATIONS...NO NWS QUALITY CONTROL PERFORMED.
 BSPM8: BANNACK          5971 :           79 /  49
 GOMM8: BRUSETT 4SE      2643 :           75 /  56
 S71  : CHINOOK ARPT     2414 :           81 /  57
 CWJM8: CLEARWATER JCTN  3840 :           81 /  48 / 0.00 /      /
 CDM  : CONRAD ARPT      3545 :            M /   M
 97M  : EKALAKA ARPT     3503 :           75 /  59
 EKS  : ENNIS ARPT       5383 :           81 /  51
 88M  : EUREKA ARPT      2668 :           79 /  54
 79S  : FORT BENTON ARPT 2869 :           82 /  55
 6S5  : HAMILTON ARPT    3642 :           82 /  63
 HWQ  : HARLOWTON ARPT   4311 :            M /   M
 6S8  : LAUREL ARPT      3517 :           84 /  58
 S59  : LIBBY ARPT       2601 :           79 /  52
 GFA  : MALMSTROM AFB    3257 :           83 /  54 / 0.17 /      /
 M75  : MALTA ARPT       2254 :           82 /  56
 S34  : PLAINS ARPT      2467 :           82 /  54
 PRSM8: POPLAR 13NE      2085 :           78 /  58
 7S0  : RONAN AIRPORT    3084 :           79 /  50
 RPX  : ROUNDUP ARPT     3485 :           83 /  57
 MRYM8: ST MARY          4575 :           70 /  47
 9S2  : SCOBEY ARPT      2432 :           79 /  58
 THM  : THOMPSON FALLS A 2467 :           82 /  55
 9S5  : THREE FORKS ARPT 4089 :           84 /  54
 7S1  : TWIN BRIDGES APT 4777 :           82 /  51
 JRWM8: UTICA 11SW       5070 :           74 /  42
 WYS  : WEST YELLOWSTONE 6644 :            M /   M / 0.00 /      /
 .END

 :...COOPERATIVE STATIONS...

 :HIGH AND LOW TEMPERATURE...PRECIPITATION...AND SNOWFALL FOR THE
 :PAST 24 HOURS THROUGH THIS MORNING...HIGH TEMPERATURE OCCURRED
 :YESTERDAY...LOW TEMPERATURE OVER PAST 24 HOURS. SNOW DEPTH THIS
 :MORNING. THE DDHHNN GROUP IS DAY/HOUR/MINUTE OF THE OBSERVATION.

 .BR TFX 0723 M DH05/TAIRZX/TAIRZN/PPDRZZ/SFDRZZ/SDIRZZ

 :...NORTHEAST MONTANA...
 :                              OBS TIME 24HR 24-HR 24-HR  24-HR  SNOW
 :ID    STATION          ELEV     DDHHNN HIGH  LOW   PCPN   SNFL DEPTH
 BKNM8: BROCKTON 20S     2370 : DD230700/    /     / 0.45 /    M /   M
 GLNM8: GLENDIVE WTP     2000 : DD230600/    /     / 0.03 /      /
 SIDM8: SIDNEY 2S        1881 : DD230600/    /     / 0.12 /      /
 WSBM8: WESTBY           2105 : DD230700/ 75 /  56 / 0.14 /    M /   M

 :...SOUTHEAST AND SOUTH CENTRAL MONTANA...
 :                              OBS TIME 24HR 24-HR 24-HR  24-HR  SNOW
 :ID    STATION          ELEV     DDHHNN HIGH  LOW   PCPN   SNFL DEPTH
 BLNM8: BALLANTINE       3000 : DD230730/ 82 /  60 /    T /    M /   M
 COLM8: COLSTRIP         3218 : DD230800/ 80 /  57 / 0.66 /    M /   M
 GBNM8: GIBSON 2NE       4464 : DDM     /  M /   M / 0.05 /  0.0 /   0
 SBRM8: HUNTLEY          3000 : DD230800/ 86 /  62 /    T /  0.0 /   0
 JOLM8: JOLIET           3700 : DD230700/ 84 /  51 / 0.00 /  0.0 /   0
 LRGM8: LIVINGSTON       4643 : DD230730/    /     / 0.04 /  0.0 /   0
 RLAM8: ROUNDUP 15SW     3386 : DD230700/ 83 /  57 /    M /    M /   0
 RYGM8: RYEGATE 18NNW    4440 : DD230700/ 82 /  50 / 0.00 /  0.0 /   0
 TERM8: TERRY            2248 : DD230800/ 81 /  60 / 0.10 /  0.0 /   0

 :...NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA...
 :                              OBS TIME 24HR 24-HR 24-HR  24-HR  SNOW
 :ID    STATION          ELEV     DDHHNN HIGH  LOW   PCPN   SNFL DEPTH
 CNKM8: CHINOOK          2420 : DD230640/ 81 /  54 / 0.05 /  0.0 /   0
 DVNM8: DUNKIRK 19NNE    3323 : DD230800/ 79 /  50 / 0.24 /  0.0 /   0
 FTBM8: FORT BENTON      2633 : DD230800/ 84 /  55 / 0.03 /  0.0 /   0
 LWMM8: LEWISTOWN 11ESE  5028 : DD230500/ 73 /  48 / 0.02 /    M /   M
 WRPM8: ROGERS PASS 9NNE 4200 : DD230800/ 79 /  47 / 0.04 /    M /   M
 RYDM8: RUDYARD 19S      2878 : DD230800/ 78 /  52 /    T /    M /   M
 SLBM8: SHELBY           3325 : DD230900/ 80 /  50 / 0.17 /  0.0 /   0
 VALM8: VALENTINE        2910 : DD230700/ 82 /  52 / 0.16 /    M /   M

 :...SOUTHWEST MONTANA...
 :                              OBS TIME 24HR 24-HR 24-HR  24-HR  SNOW
 :ID    STATION          ELEV     DDHHNN HIGH  LOW   PCPN   SNFL DEPTH
 ENSM8: ENNIS            4953 : DD230900/ 80 /  54 / 0.00 /  0.0 /   0
 HAMM8: HAMILTON         3545 : DD230700/ 85 /  50 / 0.00 /  0.0 /   0
 WYGM8: W YELLOWSTONE GT 6700 : DD230718/ 76 /  37 / 0.00 /  0.0 /   0

 :...NORTHWEST MONTANA...
 :                              OBS TIME 24HR 24-HR 24-HR  24-HR  SNOW
 :ID    STATION          ELEV     DDHHNN HIGH  LOW   PCPN   SNFL DEPTH
 ABTM8: ALBERTON         3060 : DD230800/ 83 /  51 / 0.00 /  0.0 /   0
 BUKM8: BULL LAKE        2325 : DD230800/ 79 /  53 / 0.55 /  0.0 /   0
 LIBM8: LIBBY DAM        2110 : DD230800/ 82 /  52 / 0.36 /  0.0 /   0
 OLNM8: OLNEY            3165 : DD230800/ 77 /  47 / 0.38 /    M /   M
 WHFM8: WHITEFISH        3270 : DD230800/ 76 /  48 / 0.10 /  0.0 /   0
 .END

 ...MONTANA TEMPERATURE EXTREMES...

 HIGH TEMP... 87 BOZEMAN AIRPORT

 LOW TEMP...  37 W YELLOWSTONE GT

 ...MONTANA MAXIMUM PRECIPITATION...

 MAX PRECIP...   0.66 COLSTRIP

What a ducky day to visit Gibson Pond!

July 22, 2010

Lunch time!

It started out sunny and cool this morning but by mid-day more clouds moved in, but that has not kept the temperatures from rising. A great chance to get away to feed the ducks for these folks during the noon hour today.

I spent some time working outdoors in the backyard this morning and by 11:30 am it was time to come in and cool off! A nice breeze helped but still a warm day in the sunshine and at mid-day.

We have a chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and again tomorrow afternoon. It looks like the best bet however will be for areas in the eastern half of the state. High this afternoon in the low 80’s.

Friday a few clouds will keep the temperature down along with cooler northwest winds. High in the upper 70’s.

Saturday sunny and still warm with a high in the mid 80’s.

Sunday plenty of sunshine and a high near 90.

The beginning of the week makes for another warm day with a high Monday in the upper 80’s with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.

We picked that first tomato. Boy will it taste good with supper tonight!

Fred

A chance of severe weather later today!

July 21, 2010

Conditions are right for areas to see severe weather.

Conditions are ripe for a chance of showers and thunderstorms later today. Rain is already being detected on radar in the Havre area and is missing Great Falls so far.

With the clearing of the clouds we should see temperatures rise quickly and that could set up the right conditions for showers and thunderstorms. Some could possibly become severe with hail and gusty winds. It will depend on how much clear we get and just how warm it gets.

This morning with a lack of wind, it was very pleasant outdoors although overcast. As the sun starts to poke through the clouds you can feel the heat building already.

There seems to be a lot of traffic today, perhaps it is because I was out in it more than normal this morning. I am finally learning the hang of all the detours and construction work on Tenth Avenue South. Not too bad once you get the hang of it!

Our weather pattern is a warm-up. Slight chance of showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday and a high of 80 common.

If you like it hot on the weekends, you will enjoy this one. Mostly sunny both days and a high around 90 degrees.

Monday and Tuesday don’t look too much different except for a few degrees cooler.

I hope you have a great day!

Fred

We have a few clouds but plenty of sunshine!

July 20, 2010

Few clouds one direction, more the other!

It is just perfect today. Not too cold or not too hot…a nice gentle breeze and you couldn’t ask for a better start to the day!

I didn’t get to my yard work this morning but maybe tomorrow? I will be glad when I get the rest of my above ground auto sprinkler in place for the back yard. The front is done, just finding time for the back. I will have it done by the end of the week, I promised my wife!

For the second morning in a row there has been some thunderstorms in parts of the state. The far eastern portions of Montana, like Medicine Lake are getting thunderstorms. While we enjoy the sunshine and a few clouds to the south, look another direction, northward and you see a few more clouds than the picture. Still lots of sunshine!

We are still on track to see some thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and evening, some could become severe. The high around 80.

Thursday mostly sunny and breezy with a high in the mid 80’s.

Weekend watchers can still expect to see high temperatures around 90 degrees each day. Sunscreen and sunglasses will be very helpful!

Fred

Waiting for that first ripe tomato!

July 19, 2010

The first one is almost ready!

I have been watching the first tomato to start turning red. This is it and almost ready! At least we have some this year, last year was a bust for us. I added some sand to our soil and that seemed to help for some reason. I had some sand left over from another project so I though might just as well throw it in the little tomato patch!

We have some unstable air this afternoon that is already causing some heavy rain and possible small hail in the Wolf Creek, Bynum and Choteau areas during the late morning and early afternoon. We do expect to see some drying by evening and that should take away the risk of thunderstorms. In the mean time we will be watching the radar scope!

The rest of the week looks nice and summer-like. Sunshine and highs ranging from 77 on Tuesday to the upper 80’s by next weekend. It looks like we are making up for lost time since we had a cool spring and early summer!

I hope you have a great day and get to enjoy a good homegrown tomato!

Fred

Plenty of heat. A good day to be in the pool!

July 16, 2010

Nothing but blue skies do I see!

A sunny and very warm day. Upper 80’s by early afternoon and many locations are shooting for the low to mid 90’s in the state today!

Probably the most popular spots in town today are the swimming pools. I noticed the neighbor young ones had the hose out and were playing in the water to stay cool.

In the heat of the day it’s very important to drink plenty of water. I think I have had five glasses of water already today and still downing water this afternoon.

The parks seemed busy today with picnics under the shade of trees and others just sitting and watching the river and a few clouds pass by. No one is really moving very fast today and you can’t blame them with the heat of the day. I suspect activities will pick up this evening as it cools down. Great weather for “Bluegrass on the Bay” tonight.

I ran into a couple last evening after the early news when stopping for an errand. They said Friday was a big day. An outdoor wedding and my forecast better be right. I told them hot but nothing to spoil a wedding outdoors. Great day and evening for it.

I hope you enjoy the day and have a great weekend!

Fred