TEST TORNADO WARNING - Tornadoes in Wyoming
1997 Funnel Cloud
1997 Pinedale Mesa Funnel Cloud
Pictured here is a funnel cloud observed on the Mesa south of Pinedale in 1997. Photo by Chad Ripperger.
1997 Mesa Funnel Cloud
Zoomed in version of the image above. This is the only picture we are aware of for a tornado or funnel cloud in Sublette County. Photo by Chad Ripperger.
by Pinedale Online!
April 21, 2010
According to the Wyoming State Climate Office at the University of Wyoming, tornadoes do occur in Wyoming, however they are much less frequent and destructive than those that occur in the Midwest. The relatively small amount of destruction is partly due to the fact that most of Wyoming is open range country and sparsely populated. However, records show that tornadoes which occur here are somewhat smaller and have a shorter duration. Many of them touch the ground for only a few minutes before receding into the clouds. The season extends from April through September. June has the greatest number on the average with May next and most occur in the eastern part of the State.
Wyoming ranks 25th in the number of annual tornadoes. Between 1950 and 2003 there were 545 confirmed tornadoes in Wyoming.
The only recent killer tornadoes occurred on August 12, 2005, when an F2 tornado hit the small community of Wright resulting in 2 fatalities, 13 injuries, 40-50 mobile homes destroyed with a damage path up to 0.25 mile wide and in Cheyenne on July 16, 1979, which killed one person. The Cheyenne event also resulted in 40 injuries and caused $25 million in damage and is considered the state's worst.
Wyoming tornadoes causing a death or six injuries before 1953, three or more injuries after and including 1953:
MAY 18, 1907 1:45 pm 0 dead 6 injured – Converse County
Six men were injured as a small house was destroyed on a sheep ranch in Converse County.
MAY 31, 1923 3:45 pm 1 dead 2 injured – Sheridan County
A small homestead shack was destroyed near Lariat in the southeast corner of Sheridan County.
JUNE 15, 1926 3:30 pm 0 dead 26 injured - Torrington
The erratic looping path of this tornado hit one farmhouse twice, west of Torrington, Goshen County.
JUNE 25, 1942 7:00 pm 2 dead 4 injured - Wheatland
Two field workers were killed in their home near Wheatland, Platte County.
JUNE 27, 1955 12:10 pm 0 dead 3 injured - Wheatland
A tornado destroyed all buildings on a farm south of Wheatland, Platte County.
JUNE 26, 1959 3:00 pm 1 dead 0 injured – Big Horn County
A man was killed when a tornado uprooted a tree, which crushed his pickup truck in Big Horn County.
JULY 16, 1979 3:25 pm 1 dead 40 injured - Cheyenne
A tornado hit 500 homes in an eight-mile-long path across the northern part of the Cheyenne.
JUNE 5, 1982 7:35 pm 0 dead 3 injured – Niobrara County
In Niobrara County, at Lance Creek, a barn and mobile home were destroyed.
Sublette County Tornadoes:
JULY 30, 1975 0 deaths 0 injuries F1
MAY 02, 1991 0 deaths 0 injuries F0
594 Tornadoes were reported in Wyoming between January 1, 1950 and January 31, 2010. Click here for a historic list of Wyoming tornadoes (2,705K PDF, 22 pages)