Local Data Search

 
USA.com / Montana / Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes

Montana Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes

 
Hot Montana Rankings
Fastest / Slowest Growing Cities in MT
High / Low MT Cities by Males Employed
High / Low MT Cities by Females Employed
Best / Worst Cities by Crime Rate in MT
Richest / Poorest Cities by Income in MT
Expensive / Cheapest Homes by City in MT
Most / Least Educated Cities in MT

The chance of earthquake damage in Montana is about the same as the national average. The risk of tornado damage in Montana is much lower than the national average.

Topics:Earthquake IndexVolcano IndexTornado IndexOther Weather Extremes EventsVolcanos NearbyHistorical Earthquake EventsHistorical Tornado Events

Earthquake Index, #7

Montana
1.98
U.S.
1.81

The earthquake index value is calculated based on historical earthquake events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the earthquake level in a region. A higher earthquake index value means a higher chance of an earthquake.

Volcano Index, #13

Montana
0.0002
U.S.
0.0023

The volcano index value is calculated based on the currently known volcanoes using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the possibility of a region being affected by a possible volcano eruption. A higher volcano index value means a higher chance of being affected.

Tornado Index, #49

Montana
7.73
U.S.
136.45

The tornado index value is calculated based on historical tornado events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the tornado level in a region. A higher tornado index value means a higher chance of tornado events.

Other Weather Extremes Events

A total of 12,996 other weather extremes events from 1950 to 2010 were recorded in Montana. The following is a break down of these events:

TypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCount
Avalanche:14Blizzard:155Cold:126Dense Fog:2Drought:29
Dust Storm:1Flood:423Hail:5,185Heat:3Heavy Snow:1,149
High Surf:0Hurricane:0Ice Storm:28Landslide:3Strong Wind:1,495
Thunderstorm Winds:3,216Tropical Storm:0Wildfire:98Winter Storm:567Winter Weather:85
Other:417 

Volcanos Nearby

A total of 3 volcanoes are found in or near Montana.

NameRegionLatitudeLongitudeElevation (foot)TypeStatusLast Eruption
YellowstoneUS-Wyoming, United States44.43-110.672805CalderaTephrochronologyLast known eruption B.C. (Holocene)
Hell's Half AcreUS-Idaho, United States43.5-112.451631Shield volcanoRadiocarbonLast known eruption B.C. (Holocene)
Craters of the MoonUS-Idaho, United States43.42-113.52005Cinder coneRadiocarbonLast known eruption B.C. (Holocene)

Historical Earthquake Events

A total of 207 historical earthquake events that had recorded magnitudes of 3.5 or above found in Montana.

DateMagnitudeDepth (km)LatitudeLongitude
1959-08-187.1N/A44.83-111.08
1925-06-286.8N/A46-111.2
1959-08-186.5N/A45-110.5
1959-08-186.5N/A44.88-110.73
1935-10-196.3N/A46.62-111.97
1935-10-196.3N/A46.6-112
1947-11-236.3N/A44.78-112.03
1935-10-316N/A46.62-111.97
1959-12-146N/A44.9-111.63
1935-10-316N/A46.62-112
1959-08-196N/A44.9-111.63
1964-10-215.8N/A44.8-111.6
1976-12-085.5544.76-110.79
1959-08-185.5N/A44.8-111.1
1976-10-195.3444.74-110.81
1977-03-115.2544.85-111.5
1965-01-065.1N/A44.9-112.7
1959-08-195N/A45-111.4
1975-02-045N/A48.21-114.11
1959-08-195N/A45-110.5
1970-06-264.92645.6-111.8
1965-10-084.9N/A44.8-111.1
1978-04-234.9546.97-113.27
1970-01-074.93345-111.6
1985-04-014.91047.28-113.23
1977-03-114.8546.13-111.48
1966-03-074.8N/A46.3-111.5
1985-11-094.8444.66-111.03
1979-05-084.7544.75-111.38
1969-04-014.7N/A47.9-114.3
1963-09-244.7N/A44.9-111
1976-12-094.7544.77-110.8
1977-10-194.71044.77-111.81
1964-06-264.7N/A48.2-115.1
1982-10-264.6544.75-111.75
1964-10-144.6N/A47.9-114.3
1964-10-084.6N/A47.8-114.2
1964-10-094.6N/A47.8-114.2
1972-11-024.5546.1-111.5
1959-08-194.5N/A45-111.5
1963-02-164.5N/A46.1-111
1972-04-094.5548.1-114.1
1976-12-194.5544.77-110.8
1979-06-224.5545.32-112.83
1980-02-224.5144.81-110.9
1965-11-034.5N/A45.2-111.9
1971-06-124.4547.7-114.3
1972-03-284.4547.8-114.4
1971-12-274.4547.7-114.2
1971-07-284.4547.8-114.3
1985-11-264.4544.65-111.04
1971-06-134.4547.7-114.3
1971-06-124.4547.7-114.3
1976-12-204.4544.84-110.83
1972-01-054.4547.8-114.2
1969-10-144.4N/A47.8-114.2
1974-07-164.41045.84-111.37
1982-10-214.4544.72-111.83
1977-03-044.3544.84-111.13
1977-03-044.3544.78-111.05
1985-11-094.3544.69-111.05
1985-03-014.3544.8-110.78
1969-11-074.3N/A47.9-114.2
1977-03-044.3544.8-111.08
1978-11-104.3547.01-113.33
1985-11-174.3544.62-111.07
1985-12-044.3544.67-111
1969-06-254.3N/A48-114.3
1968-03-264.3N/A47.7-114.4
1963-12-204.3N/A44.9-111.7
1969-09-154.3N/A47.9-114.2
1970-10-184.31546.2-111.5
1981-05-224.2744.83-111
1985-10-164.2444.64-111.02
1979-05-084.2544.74-111.2
1969-06-094.2N/A47.9-114.3
1965-05-114.2N/A44.7-111
1969-06-094.2N/A47.9-114.3
1985-11-094.2544.77-111.14
1985-11-094.2544.65-111.05
1971-04-264.2547.8-114.3
1977-03-044.2544.83-111.04
1975-01-294.2N/A45.07-111.47
1980-05-104.2544.76-111.28
1985-10-194.2544.65-111.06
1982-11-044.2544.72-111.72
1983-03-174.2547.53-112.7
1985-03-054.1544.78-110.8
1969-06-114.1N/A47.9-114.2
1984-05-074.1544.66-111.85
1985-12-154.1644.62-110.99
1965-10-104.1N/A44.8-111.8
1983-08-144.1544.72-111.85
1985-12-044.1544.65-111.03
1985-10-194.1544.65-111.01
1985-06-174.1744.78-111.03
1985-10-194.1544.64-111.08
1964-08-134.1N/A46.5-112.2
1977-03-044.1544.8-111.08
1975-01-314.1N/A48.17-114.14
1965-10-264N/A47.4-113.2
1980-03-104547.3-113.39
1975-05-024N/A46.18-111.44
1985-11-164544.67-111.08
1970-09-014547.9-114.4
1985-10-164544.64-111.02
1985-10-194544.68-110.98
1983-02-1641448.54-112.37
1977-03-044544.76-111.01
1985-03-014444.8-110.77
1977-03-044544.82-111.1
1963-04-274N/A45-111.4
1971-07-234547.8-114.2
1977-03-044544.77-111.12
1966-10-114N/A44.9-111.1
1977-03-044544.77-111.21
1966-09-194N/A45.9-111.2
1985-12-013.9844.63-111.02
1964-10-213.9N/A44.8-111.6
1985-11-203.9544.63-110.98
1966-04-303.9N/A48-113.8
1985-03-023.9544.79-110.79
1971-09-093.9547.8-114.2
1985-11-253.9544.63-111.07
1964-11-243.9N/A45.3-111.7
1985-10-173.9544.64-111.01
1966-10-113.9N/A44.9-111.1
1985-12-043.9544.63-111.05
1966-10-113.9N/A44.8-111.1
1969-05-013.9N/A46.7-112.8
1977-04-023.9544.75-110.82
1985-11-123.9544.63-111.06
1985-11-153.9544.65-111.04
1985-10-173.9544.63-111.06
1964-12-213.9N/A44.9-112.7
1985-11-163.9544.64-111.08
1985-11-263.8544.67-111.07
1985-11-263.8544.66-111.04
1985-11-153.8544.63-111.05
1985-10-173.8444.64-111.01
1985-11-293.81644.69-111.04
1985-12-043.8544.63-110.99
1985-10-193.8544.66-111.08
1985-10-173.8744.64-111.01
1984-02-283.8546.18-111.46
1976-02-133.8146.75-112.13
1967-01-103.8N/A45-111.5
1977-03-043.8544.84-110.92
1969-06-253.8N/A47.9-114.3
1965-01-133.8N/A44.9-112.7
1963-03-083.8N/A44.8-110.2
1977-03-043.7544.75-111.35
1985-11-093.7544.62-111.07
1985-11-093.7544.65-111.04
1985-11-133.7844.63-111.03
1976-11-273.7944.64-111.14
1985-11-143.7844.65-111
1976-11-173.7544.75-110.86
1972-03-043.7547.8-114.4
1971-04-183.7547.8-114.4
1971-04-123.72147.8-114.3
1985-11-293.7844.66-111.01
1965-04-063.7N/A45.6-111.9
1985-12-163.7644.64-111.01
1977-03-043.7544.79-111.05
1978-04-233.7547-113.31
1983-02-163.7545.93-111.5
1985-10-173.7544.63-111.08
1985-10-173.7544.64-111.06
1983-10-133.6544.71-111.07
1979-05-073.6544.76-111.14
1976-04-053.6546.13-111.68
1985-11-253.6544.61-111.07
1971-01-113.6N/A45.2-112
1982-11-083.6544.78-110.92
1970-05-233.61747.8-114.22
1985-08-183.6544.64-111.01
1971-04-213.6547.9-114.2
1985-12-093.6544.63-111.07
1985-10-163.6544.64-111.01
1976-11-273.6544.85-110.97
1978-01-143.6544.77-111.94
1985-11-093.6544.66-111.12
1985-10-193.6544.63-111.08
1985-11-103.6544.61-111.07
1985-10-183.6544.62-111.06
1985-06-073.6644.78-111.02
1985-11-133.5844.67-111
1985-10-293.5544.63-111.08
1978-10-213.5546.97-113.25
1978-11-043.5544.75-111.23
1985-12-043.5544.63-111.08
1985-10-203.5644.63-111.01
1985-04-263.5744.8-110.82
1977-01-123.5544.63-112.6
1976-12-083.5544.75-111.05
1985-10-253.51744.62-110.98
1979-05-083.5544.77-111.12
1976-07-283.5547.55-112.73
1985-11-173.5744.65-111
1972-11-023.5546.2-111.4
1985-11-223.5544.62-110.99
1979-07-213.5547.72-114.15
1979-05-083.5544.78-111.08
1985-10-183.5544.65-111.05
1972-11-023.5546.2-111.5
1985-12-273.5544.6-111.05

Historical Tornado Events

A total of 44 historical tornado events that had recorded magnitude of 2 or above found in Montana.

DateMagnitudeStart Lat/LogEnd Lat/LogLengthWidthFatalitiesInjuriesProperty DamageCrop DamageAffected County
1952-07-19346°58'N / 104°15'W47°00'N / 104°03'W9.10 Miles33 Yards12250K0Wibaux
1988-07-05347°43'N / 109°50'W48°00'N / 109°28'W3.00 Miles200 Yards02250K0Chouteau
1988-07-05347°58'N / 109°59'W48°06'N / 109°50'W12.00 Miles200 Yards0025K0Chouteau
1988-07-05347°52'N / 109°55'W47°57'N / 109°46'W10.00 Miles200 Yards003K0Chouteau
2010-07-26348°39'N / 105°00'W48°33'N / 104°39'W18.00 Miles880 Yards21300K0KSheridan
 Brief Description: EVENT NARRATIVE: This was the deadliest tornado in Montana since 1923, and only the fourth EF-3 on record. The supercell thunderstorm developed strong rotation, and rotating wall clouds and brief funnel clouds were reported in Daniels County. As the storm moved southeast, it intensified and a large, long-lived tornado formed. The tornado traveled for 18 miles, mostly through rural areas, but it had devastating impacts as it hit a ranch, killing two people and injuring one. On the morning of July 27th, 2010 two teams of NWS Glasgow staff surveyed the damage area. The first team started in Daniels County and followed the track of the storm to the east-southeast. The second team met with county and state officials at the site of the ranch that was most devastated. Both teams spoke to law enforcement officials, as well as weather spotters and the public who had reports of weather and/or damage as well as those who saw the tornado. The initial damage from the tornado originated about 12 miles south of Redstone. Along the Reserve and Wanso Roads, six miles of power lines were snapped off. Sheridan Electric was able to restore power fairly quickly to the majority of residences by the next morning. Due to the poles being snapped, the tornado was rated an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale in this area. This was the widest portion of the tornado track with a width of a half mile. The tornado continued east-southeast where it encountered an abandoned farmhouse, a barn and a bridge that went across Wolf Creek on the Three Corners Road. The bridge had the planks ripped off with damage totals coming to $100,000. The farmhouse was blown off of the foundation, had some of the siding stripped off, and roof damage. The barn was completely destroyed, with the west and north facing walls blown away, and the south and east facing walls intact for the most part, but flattened on the ground. Two grain bins were destroyed, with a third still on its foundation but crushed. They appeared to be empty. The damage at this location was rated an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The width of the tornado at this point was a quarter mile wide. The storm continued on its east-southeast track at a speed of about 30 mph. The Smith Ranch was then impacted. The ranch sits on a bit of a hill with a small stream valley from the west-northwest to just north of the property. There are no shelter belts or terrain to block some of the winds from the tornado. The two fatalities and one injury occurred at the Smith Ranch. The adult fatality was trying to get into the basement. The child fatality was in the basement and the chimney collapsed and crushed him. The adult injury was with the child, but on the other side of the chimney in the basement. The tornado was rated an EF3 at the Smith Ranch, with a width of three tenths of a mile. This was the highest rating during the life cycle of the tornado. Along with the devastating destruction of property, there was also up to 40 cows and calves significantly injured or killed by the tornado and/or debris. Many had severe injuries and had to be put down by a veterinarian. The damage totals are estimated. A formal written report is available from the NWS Glasgow office. EPISODE NARRATIVE: An upper air disturbance moves east just north of a frontal boundary that helped to trigger severe weather. The severe weather that included one of the strongest tornadoes in Montana history started in far southern Saskatchewan and moved southeast across the area.
1953-06-23247°14'N / 105°09'W47°35'N / 104°39'W33.50 Miles1320 Yards000K0Dawson
1954-05-27245°26'N / 105°23'W0.10 Mile23 Yards003K0Powder River
1954-08-26247°35'N / 105°36'W47°52'N / 105°26'W20.90 Miles880 Yards0025K0Mccone
1958-07-02245°48'N / 108°29'W0.50 Mile50 Yards022.5M0Yellowstone
1962-05-19245°18'N / 112°42'W2.00 Miles17 Yards0025K0Beaverhead
1962-06-14245°24'N / 113°24'W000K0Beaverhead
1962-07-18246°35'N / 105°00'W46°18'N / 104°15'W40.60 Miles33 Yards000K0Prairie
1962-08-04248°42'N / 106°30'W48°57'N / 105°38'W42.90 Miles73 Yards00250K0Valley
1962-08-07247°18'N / 108°24'W2.00 Miles10 Yards003K0Petroleum
1964-04-25245°24'N / 105°24'W6.00 Miles40 Yards01250K0Powder River
1964-07-20246°24'N / 109°48'W2.00 Miles33 Yards000K0Fergus
1965-07-10246°48'N / 110°24'W2.00 Miles23 Yards0125K0Judith Basin
1965-07-11246°36'N / 104°48'W46°36'N / 104°40'W5.40 Miles67 Yards0025K0Custer
1966-07-02247°30'N / 112°18'W0.80 Mile50 Yards000K0Teton
1966-07-25245°24'N / 105°24'W2.00 Miles17 Yards000K0Powder River
1969-09-21248°18'N / 104°36'W1.00 Mile33 Yards0025K0Roosevelt
1971-07-02248°28'N / 104°28'W10.00 Miles250 Yards000K0Sheridan
1972-06-11248°41'N / 106°24'W0.30 Mile30 Yards003K0Valley
1972-06-11247°43'N / 104°49'W47°39'N / 104°38'W9.10 Miles50 Yards000K0Richland
1975-06-23246°10'N / 114°21'W0125K0Ravalli
1975-06-25248°30'N / 106°13'W000K0Valley
1975-06-25248°16'N / 106°02'W0025K0Valley
1975-06-25246°16'N / 105°38'W000K0Custer
1975-06-25247°57'N / 104°11'W0025K0Richland
1975-06-27247°14'N / 104°44'W0025K0Dawson
1975-06-30247°03'N / 111°18'W000K0Cascade
1976-06-08247°21'N / 110°05'W0025K0Fergus
1981-05-28247°21'N / 109°03'W1.50 Miles100 Yards000K0Fergus
1982-05-07248°54'N / 111°55'W0.50 Mile20 Yards003K0Toole
1986-05-04246°21'N / 108°05'W0.10 Mile10 Yards003K0Musselshell
1994-04-24247°08'N / 110°16'W1.50 Miles100 Yards00500K0Judith Basin
 Brief Description: The Bill Skelton ranch was hit by two tornadoes. Damage was extensive. A barn roof made from 8 to 12 inch logs was carried away. A two foot in diameter cottonwood tree was snapped five feet above the ground. A 24-foot horse trailer was picked up and carried 65 yards landing on its top and it hit and damaged a tractor enroute. A 1.5 ton truck was tipped over and an out building made from heavy beams and spiked down was twisted and moved. A mobile home was lifted and a large fuel tank was deposited under it. Several one ton hay bales were moved 20-30 yards. Golf ball-sized hail fell ahead of the tornadoes and covered the ground to a depth of five inches.
1994-04-24247°08'N / 110°16'W1.00 Mile300 Yards0050K0Judith Basin
 Brief Description: The Bill Skelton ranch was hit by two tornadoes. Damage was extensive. A barn roof made from 8 to 12 inch logs was carried away. A two foot in diameter cottonwood tree was snapped five feet above the ground. A 24-foot horse trailer was picked up and carried 65 yards landing on its top and it hit and damaged a tractor enroute. A 1.5 ton truck was tipped over and an out building made from heavy beams and spiked down was twisted and moved. A mobile home was lifted and a large fuel tank was deposited under it. Several one ton hay bales were moved 20-30 yards. Golf ball-sized hail fell ahead of the tornadoes and covered the ground to a depth of five inches.
1996-06-25247°24'N / 109°48'W47°24'N / 109°48'W2.00 Miles30 Yards0025K0Fergus
 Brief Description: A tornado touched down for about 20 minutes, damaging several buildings on a ranch 8 miles northeast of Denton.
1999-06-20246°32'N / 104°11'W46°38'N / 104°17'W5.00 Miles300 Yards0000Fallon
 Brief Description: A large tornado which touched down near Ollie Road, about 3 miles east of Montana Highway 7. The tornado travelled north to County Road 616 then northwest over Beaver Creek before lifting at the Fallon/Wibaux County border. The tornado destroyed a well built cattle shed, lifted up, twisted and moved a large irrigation pipe about 100 yards and sucked the water out of a section of Beaver Creek.
1999-08-14247°04'N / 109°25'W47°05'N / 109°23'W5.00 Miles100 Yards034.0M0Fergus
 Brief Description: NUMEROUS HAIL REPORTS 1 TO 2 INCHES...ONE WIND ESTIMATE AHEAD OF TORNADO 87KT
2001-07-25246°33'N / 104°17'W46°33'N / 104°17'W2.00 Miles200 Yards0000Fallon
 Brief Description: NWS Post-Storm Damage Assessment Team determined F2 tornado 200 yards wide with a path length of 2 miles. It was on the ground for 15 minutes over open range west of State Highway 7.
2002-07-08247°15'N / 109°21'W47°15'N / 109°21'W10.00 Miles200 Yards00100K0Fergus
 Brief Description: A severe thunderstorm moved across the northern half of Fergus County during the late afternoon hours on the 8th. This storm produced a widespread area of one to two inch hail from Brooks to Roy, with wind gusts over 70 mph. When the storm was just north of Brooks, a tornado developed. This tornado was on the ground for several miles, but remained over rural areas of Fergus County. However, this tornado did hit three residences, causing damage to houses and several barns. A few mobile homes were also damaged and one grain elevator near Moulton was toppled.
2010-06-20245°48'N / 108°28'W45°48'N / 108°28'W1.00 Mile120 Yards000K0KYellowstone
 Brief Description: EVENT NARRATIVE: Based on the observed damage, the tornado was classified as an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Wind speeds within an EF-2 tornado range from 111-135 mph, and the associated damage observed at the Billings MetraPark and nearby businesses was consistent with this classification. The damage path was 120 yards wide with a length of about a half mile and on the ground an estimated 12 minutes. The damage assessment and eyewitness accounts indicate that the tornado developed near the intersection of Lake Elmo Drive and Main Street in the Billings Heights at approximately 4:24 pm, with significant EF-2 damage to several nearby businesses. Damage included rooftops being blown off of three structures, windows blown out, power poles downed, business signs and billboards blown down along with several trees uprooted. The tornado appeared to weaken slightly as it progressed southeast across Alkali Creek. Limbs were broken off numerous trees in the vicinity of the creek. The tornadic circulation then appeared to have strengthened once again as it moved south over the Rimrock Auto Arena at Metrapark. EF-2 damage was again observed to the arena with much of the roof blown off along with other damage to the exterior of the building. Debris from the arena impacted other nearby businesses creating additional damage, mainly in the form of broken windows. Debris from the arena was reported landing as far away as a mile from the tornado touchdown. The tornado then dissipated over the arena around 4:36 pm. The associated thunderstorm then moved northeast away from Billings. Numerous sightings of funnel clouds were reported as this storm moved east-northeast of Billings, however no additional tornado touchdowns were reported. EPISODE NARRATIVE: Meteorologically speaking, this was a very active severe weather day for south central Montana. A very moist and unstable atmosphere was in place across portions of the Billings Forecast area during the afternoon and evening of the 20th (Father's Day). A moist, southeast surface flow, strong wind shear aloft, and ample afternoon heating provided the necessary ingredients for severe weather. Numerous thunderstorms, some of which became rapidly severe producing tornadoes and large hail, developed across South Central Montana.
2010-07-02246°10'N / 110°26'W46°12'N / 110°24'W2.00 Miles150 Yards0032.5M0KPark
 Brief Description: EVENT NARRATIVE: At approximately 345pm to about 352pm, a supercell thunderstorm produced a tornado with surrounding microburst damage occurred about 15 miles northeast of Wilsall over the foothills of the Crazy Mountains in Park County. Thousands of trees were damaged, including large trees that were uprooted or snapped off at the base. Trees as large as three to four feet in diameter were uprooted and/or snapped. EF-2 scale damage with estimated wind speeds up to 120 mph was determined with this tornado. EPISODE NARRATIVE: At approximately 345pm to about 352pm, a supercell thunderstorm producing a tornado with surrounding microburst damage along with large hail occurred about 15 miles northeast of Wilsall over the foothills of the Crazy Mountains in Park County. Thousands of trees were damaged, including large trees that were uprooted or snapped off at the base. Trees as large as three to four feet in diameter were uprooted and/or snapped. EF-2 scale damage with estimated wind speeds up to 120 mph was determined with this tornado. Large hail was also reported with this thunderstorm as it moved east of the Crazy Mountains.


* The information on this page is based on the global volcano database, the U.S. earthquake database of 1638-1985, and the U.S. Tornado and Weather Extremes database of 1950-2010.


 
The USA.com website and domain are privately owned and are not operated by or affiliated with any government or municipal authority.
© 2017 World Media Group, LLC.