GREAT FALLS — The National Weather Service (NWS) in Great Falls confirmed on Wednesday that a tornado touched down west of Hays on Tuesday.
Photos of a funnel cloud and a video of a tornado that were sent to KRTV are what allowed the National Weather Service to confirm that it was a tornado.
Due to the remote nature of this tornado, the NWS is not going to perform a damage survey, so the tornado is going to have a rating of "EF-Unknown" on the tornado scale.
The tornado was on the ground from 6:11 p.m. until 6:20 p.m. It was on the ground for 3.78 miles, and had a path width of 30 yards.
It touched down about seven miles west-northwest of Hays, and dissipated about three miles west-northwest of town. There are no reports of any damage or injuries.
- Photos and videos from our viewers are what allowed the NWS to find out about this tornado. If you have any photos or videos of any severe weather (wind damage, large hail, funnel clouds, tornadoes, etc.), please submit them to us on social media!
Montana typically sees several tornadoes every year in the spring, particularly in the eastern part of the state. Unlike those in "Tornado Alley" in the central part of the country, most Montana tornadoes are relatively small and usually touch down in sparsely-populated areas – but not always.
A small tornado touched down southeast of Glasgow last year; click here for details.
In 2017, a small tornado hit near Sidney in eastern Montana, injuring one person and causing damage.
Six people were injured and several homes and buildings were damaged by an EF-3 tornado in Baker in eastern Montana in June 2016.
In June 2010, a tornado hit Billings, causing significant damage to the MetraPark facility. Just several weeks later, two people were killed when a tornado struck a family ranch near Reserve in northeastern Montana.
Click here for a list of confirmed tornadoes recorded between 1950 and 2012 in Montana.