On Tuesday, the National Weather Service Riverton confirmed that a tornado touched down on June 19, 2019 near Powder River Pass.
According to the weather service report, on June 19, 2019 a thunderstorm began to develop on the border of Park and Big Horn counties around 5 p.m. As this storm moved east it strengthened and reached its peak intensity in extreme southeastern Big Horn County. The storm crossed into Johnson County and produced a tornado on Powder River Pass in the Bighorn Mountains just before 7 p.m. Considerable tree damage occurred along and near US Highway 16 as the tornado moved east along its 3.7 mile path. Hundreds of conifer trees were uprooted or snapped at their trunks. Additionally, several large wooden snow fences were torn apart, with fencing debris thrown in all directions. This tornado was unusual in that it occurred at a high elevation of just under 10,000 feet along its western path.
The damage produced by this storm was consistent with an EF-1 tornado, with estimated peak winds of 110 mph. An EF-0 is the weakest tornado; an EF-5 is the strongest. The time of the tornado was estimated by comparing the location of the damage with radar imagery.