A Return To Summer: Tornadoes, Funnel Clouds, Hail, 90 Degree Temps, And Snow

Summer weather is back in Wyoming and that included tornadoes, funnel clouds, hail, and 90 degree temperatures on Tuesday. Next week, snow is in the forecast.

Jimmy Orr

June 08, 20223 min read

Tornado lusk 6 7 22
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

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Summer weather is back in Wyoming as evidenced by Tuesday’s weather. It was nice and springy in some areas while other parts of experienced a bit more excitement like tornadoes, funnel clouds, and hail.

The National Weather Service of Cheyenne sent out a note on Wednesday morning wondering if anyone had more information about a funnel cloud spotted just east of Lusk.

“Quite the capture!” they wrote of the “brief tornado” which was taken near Duck Creek Ranch just north of Highway 20 at around 2:30pm.

The photo was taken by Garrett Wurdeman and shared with KNEB-TV in Nebraska.

Tornado Chaser Reed Timmer was paying attention to this twister. He had high regard for it.

“Possible TOTY (tornado of the year) east of Lusk, WY yesterday,” Timmer tweeted. “Would have been a solo intercept on Hwy 20 near the historical site. Important to chase the backdoor targets during high plains insanity.”

Timmer did not explain why the tornado could be so highly valued.

The National Weather Service officially declared it a EF 1. That’s the second to the smallest of the “ranked tornadoes.” Still nothing to sneeze at though.

These EF 1s have winds from 86 – 110mph. Some may say that it would be like living in Clark, Wyoming.

There was some real damage associated with this tornado, however.

Fencing was blown down, roofs were torn off, trees were uprooted,

“The more impressive damage was a barn roof and partial second level were torn off and thrown 50 to 100 yards to the southeast,” the weather service said.

Photo by Kelle Kristeen Moore

Weather spotter, Kelle Kristeen Moore, produced a photo of another funnel cloud taken the day before 32 miles northeast of Douglas (above).

Not to be outdone, the Thermopolis Independent Record shared a photo of a funnel cloud five miles north of the town taken at 11:30 am on Wednesday (below).

Photo by Lara Love, Thermopolis Record

But the real weather on Wednesday happened east of Wyoming in Sidney, Nebraska.  A severe storm dropped more than 10 inches of hail in the community. 

According to News Channel Nebraska, the storm lasted four hours and produced ping pong sized hail in numerous towns.

Other Nebraska communities received up to two inches of rain.

In Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day is predicting 90 degree temperatures in the southern and central parts of the state by this weekend and then snow is actually in the forecast.

What Day is calling an “impressive spring storm” will bring wintry-like weather to higher elevations in some parts of the state.

“Spring is still fighting,” Day said. “We are going to do a complete reverse. We have a big summer warmup and then spring comes back and says I’m not done with you yet.”

Somewhat apologetically, Day said he hated to mention the word but snow was a possibility on Monday night and Tuesday in the higher elevations of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.

“Nothing like what we had over Memorial Day weekend but a mid-June snowfall in the highest elevations can’t be ruled out,” he said. “This front is really impressive.”

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.