Thursday 27th June 2019 – Montana (Enhanced Risk)

We started today with High Hopes of grabbing a Montana Tornado with the SPC agreeing with a 5% Tornado Risk and an Enhanced Risk posted for Central and North East Montana. Low 60’s dewpoints and 50kts of Bulk Shear would easily see Supercells forming around 3pm onwards. We grabbed a quick lunch at Uberbrew in Billings and headed North West towards Harlowton and put ourselves just east of a line of Supercells the best of which was located just west of Lewistown. We headed North after a quick top up with fuel and passed through Judith Gap and our Storm went Tornado Warned. Our first look at it was good with a decent Wall Cloud and inflow winds screaming into it. Was Montana going to break her duck with my lack of Tornadoes in the state.

The Storm approached Eddies Corner and almost in an Instant started to gust out – Aaaaargh not again surely and to make matters worse the storm we had just left went tornado warned to our South West and quickly produced a cone tornado that was hidden by a hill that sits just west of Judith Gap and our position was blocked from the Tornado that was just 10 miles to our South West. We headed back south getting around the mountain to take a look at the Supercell which had just produced a quick Tornado and the structure was very nice indeed. Rotation was pretty non existant by now though

The Storms were now rolling east through areas of Montana that contained no road options so it was time to reposition much further east to get back in front of the storm, our guests were starting to see just how hard it is too chase in Montana with lack of road options and mountains everywhere. When we finally got back in front of the Supercell a few hours later just before Sunset it looked even better structure wise and regained its Tornado Warning.

Nice Structure was heading towards us

The storm tightened up but ultimately could not produce a Tornado for us, we let the wall cloud go overhead and positioned ourselves to the west of the storm watching it move away to the east with lightning flickering as dusk set in and a nice waterpump in the foreground.

Ended the day in Billings ready for another Montana chase on the 28th coming up.

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