The National Weather Service confirmed on Tuesday that an EF-2 tornado directly hit Glentana in Valley County on Monday evening (July 18, 2022).
This is the strongest tornado to occur in Montana since June 28, 2018, when there was an EF-2 tornado near the community of Capitol. This is also the strongest tornado to occur in Valley County since June 25, 1975, when there was an F-2 tornado.
The tornado on Monday evening touched down at 5:47 pm about 5.5 miles southwest of Glentana. The tornado then traveled northeast and directly hit the town of Glentana at 5:53 pm.
The tornado then lifted at 5:56 pm about 2.4 miles northeast of Glentana.
This tornado was on the ground for eight miles and had an average path width of 457 yards. The maximum wind speed associated with this tornado was 120 miles per hour.
The small town of Glentana sustained significant damage from the tornado. Some farm buildings and machinery were destroyed; several grain hopper bins either blew away or were severely damaged; a roof was blown off a house; and numerous spruce trees were blown over.
Even though there was a lot of damage in town, thankfully there were no reported injuries or fatalities.
This is the first confirmed tornado to have occurred in Montana this year. There was also likely an EF-0 tornado on July 6, 2022 in Judith Basin County, but that tornado was never officially confirmed by the National Weather Service.
Montana's tornado season generally spans from late May through early August. Most Montana tornadoes are relatively small and usually touch down in sparsely-populated areas – but not always.
In 2016, an EF-3 tornado hit the town of Baker in southeast Montana. In 2015, a small tornado hit near Sidney in Richland County in eastern Montana, injuring one person and causing some damage.
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.
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