Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Great Falls, MT

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
455 PM MDT MON JUL 6 2015

MTZ008>015-044>055-071800-

ON SATURDAY JULY 4 2015 NUMEROUS STRONG AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
DEVELOPED OVER NORTH- CENTRAL MONTANA IN THE WAKE OF A POTENT COLD
FRONT. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEATHER RADAR INDICATED THE PRESENCE
OF SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORMS AND THE NWS OFFICE IN GREAT FALLS
RECEIVED REPORTS OF HIGH WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH...LARGE HAIL
RANGING FROM QUARTER SIZE UP TO GOLF BALL SIZE...FUNNEL CLOUDS AND
TORNADOES AS WELL AS STRUCTURAL AND AGRICULTURAL DAMAGE ACROSS PARTS
OF THE HI-LINE. WE ARE THANKFUL THAT THERE WERE NO REPORTS OF
INJURIES OR FATALITIES. THIS WAS A RARE SEVERE WEATHER EVENT FOR
NORTH-CENTRAL MONTANA IN PART BECAUSE SEVERE WEATHER TYPICALLY
OCCURS EARLIER IN THE EVENING.

NWS GREAT FALLS ISSUED A SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT AT 849 PM MDT
DESCRIBING THE POTENTIAL THAT A LINE OF STRENGTHENING THUNDERSTORMS
CAPABLE OF AT LEAST 50 MPH WIND GUSTS WOULD IMPACT AREAS ALONG US
HIGHWAY 2 BETWEEN CHESTER AND RUDYARD. NWS GREAT FALLS INITIALLY
CALLED THE HILL COUNTY SHERIFF AROUND 9 PM MDT TO ALERT THEM TO THE
POTENTIAL OF STRONG WINDS APPROACHING HAVRE AND POSSIBLE IMPACTS TO
4TH OF JULY FESTIVITIES BETWEEN 930 PM MDT AND 10 PM MDT. AT 916 PM
MDT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS ISSUED THE A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM WARNING AND REMAINED IN CONTACT WITH HILL COUNTY
SHERIFF AND HILL COUNTY DES TO KEEP THEM APPRISED OF THE DEVELOPING
SITUATION. SHORTLY BEFORE 10 PM MDT, STRONG WIND GUSTS WERE REPORTED
IN THE HAVRE AREA...ALONG WITH HAIL FROM PENNY TO PING PONG BALL
SIZE. NWS GREAT FALLS CONTINUED TO MONITOR THE SITUATION AND ISSUE
SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS FOR SEVERAL STORMS ACROSS NORTH-CENTRAL
MONTANA. AROUND 10 PM MDT THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER COORDINATED
WITH NWS GREAT FALLS TO ISSUE A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH VALID
UNTIL 5 AM MDT JULY 5 2015.

THE NWS OFFICE IN GREAT FALLS RECEIVED THE FIRST REPORT OF A TORNADO
AROUND 1030 PM MDT FOLLOWED BY AN ADDITIONAL SEVEN TORNADO REPORTS
THROUGH 1130 PM MDT. NUMEROUS REPORTS OF POWER OUTAGES AND DAMAGE
RELATED TO THE SEVERE STORMS WERE ALSO RECEIVED. IN TOTAL...11
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS AND 6 TORNADO WARNINGS WERE ISSUED
BETWEEN 915 PM MDT AND 1245 AM MDT JULY 5 2015.

ON SUNDAY JULY 5 2015 A TEAM OF THREE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
METEOROLOGISTS FROM GREAT FALLS TRAVELED ACROSS NORTH-CENTRAL
MONTANA TO ASSESS THE STORM DAMAGE. MANY INSTANCES OF SIGNIFICANT...
STORM-BASED DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS...VEHICLES AND VEGETATION WERE
NOTED. ALTHOUGH DAMAGE WAS EXTENSIVE...NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE WAS
FOUND TO SUPPORT THE PRESENCE OF TORNADOES. INSTEAD...AVAILABLE
EVIDENCE INDICATED THAT ALL DAMAGE WAS CAUSED BY A COMBINATION OF
LARGE HAIL AND VERY STRONG STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS...POSSIBLY FROM
DOWNBURSTS OR MICROBURSTS. THE SURVEYED DAMAGE ROUTINELY INDICATED
DEBRIS SPREAD IN A UNIFORM DIRECTION, UNLIKE DAMAGE ASSOCIATED WITH
A TORNADO. NONETHELESS...DUE TO THE LARGE AREA THESE STORMS
COVERED...A SMALL TORNADO CANNOT BE RULED OUT. WE CONTINUE TO GATHER
EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION FROM THESE STORMS AND AS WE LEARN MORE WE
WILL BE SURE TO PROVIDE UPDATES. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION...
PHOTOS...VIDEOS OR QUESTIONS...PLEASE CONTACT MEGAN VANDENHEUVEL NWS
GREAT FALLS WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST AT
MEGAN.VANDENHEUVEL@NOAA.GOV.



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