Tornado Spotted Over Wyoming Hills During Monday’s Severe Weather Outbreak
A tornado was spotted over ranchland in the Laramie Mountains on Monday as severe weather swept the state.
Reid Lance Rosenthal submitted these photos of a tornado 20 miles southwest of Douglas over the Powderhorn, Sullivan and Creek Bend Ranches.
Rosenthal spotted the tornado at 7 p.m. Monday and said it was headed right for his house before it moved over a ridge above a pivot field and went back up into the clouds.
DayWeather Meteorologist Mark Heuer says the hill in the foreground of the photos obscures the base of the tornado, but believes Rosenthal did see a tornado based on the size and shape.
Tornadoes in the mountains are rare, but the fact that this tornado was in the hills makes it more likely to have touched down. Heuer says it's a nice-looking tornado for being over or near hills.
"It all pertains to the topography and the disruption that the topography -- the mountains -- causes to the needed factors and ingredients for tornadic development," Heuer said Tuesday.
"With the up-and-down nature of the mountains and the varying terrain, unlike over the generally flatter plains, it just isn't conducive most of the time for tornadic development unless we've got really strong atmospheric shear, which is winds at one level of the atmosphere going a different direction than winds at a different level," Heuer added.
"With yesterday's severe weather outbreak, we had unusually strong shear across the high plains and Rockies, and that helped to overcome the normal difficulties that mountains give towards tornadic development," Heuer said. "In addition to the difficulty the terrain gives towards tornadic development, a lot of times the thunderstorms themselves are not strong enough either over the higher elevations or mountains"
We continue to see more great photos and video submitted by our viewers in the wake of Monday's severe weather outbreak.
As many as 18 tornadoes were spotted across Wyoming as large hail and strong winds impacted parts of the state.
To submit photos or video of severe weather like this -- or any news -- use the K2 Radio Mobile App.
RELATED: Watch this video of a tornado that touched down near Kaycee during Monday's severe weather.