Tornado touches down north of Hemingford

A tornado rated an EF-2 touched down 10 miles northwest of Hemingford late Thursday afternoon.  

According to the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, on July 2nd a Supercell Thunderstorm began to rapidly intensify northwest of Hemingford/near Crawford at around 3 p.m.

The intense storm then moved slowly southeast for several hours producing golf ball sized hail 8 miles southeast of Crawford around 4:20 p.m.

The storm continued southeast, with rotation intensifying as it got closer to the Box Butte Reservoir and Marsland.

People near that area reported baseball sized hail just east northeast of Marsland.

Photos and videos of the storm began posting to social media the tornado that touched down around 5:26 p.m. about 10 miles northwest of Hemingford.

Video and accounts from storm chasers in the area showed that the tornado moved to the west, in the opposite direction of the parent storm.

The tornado drifted across open land near several farmsteads for several minutes as it became wider and more defined.

It then crossed an area where several used tractor tires weighing well over 100 pounds were being used as feeders for livestock. One of these tires was found several hundred yards to the north alongside other damage. This indicated that the tornado began to make a slight turn to the northwest.

According to the damage survey conducted by the National Weather Service, the tire was found where a lard cottonwood tree was uprooted with several branches snapped and strewn to the northwest along the path of the tornado.

Further to the northwest, multiple one to two foot diameter tree trunks were snapped along with numerous large branches near the treetop. The trees were mostly cottonwoods, alongside some ash and boxelders.

As the tornado continued northwest toward River Road, a center pivot was severely mangled and three steel power poles were bent at the base along River Road.

Eyewitnesses and video then shows the tornado dissipate just north of River Road around 5:35 p.m. about 12.0 miles northwest of Hemingford.

Damage indicators are consistent with minimum wind speeds up to 115 MPH, which rates this tornado as an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The tornado tracked for approximately 3.4 miles with a maximum width of around 275 yards.

There were zero fatalities and zero injuries with this storm.

Campers and fisherman at the Box Butte Dam reported damage to campers and trees caused by high winds and large hail.


EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH

EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH

EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH

EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH

EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH

EF5...VIOLENT...>200 MPH

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