Rare Footage of a Tornado Forming Over a Mountain in Montana

A rare funnel cloud was spotted over snowy mountains in western Montana and, thankfully, quick-thinking onlookers filmed the event. Footage shot by Isley Reust has been making the rounds online and has viewers awestruck. The event occurred in Mission Valley around 5:30 p.m., as Reust was out doing yard work. She noticed the dark clouds forming and went inside, only to see a tornado appearing to form in the mountains.

While many people believe that tornados can't develop on mountains, the National Weather Service says that this is actually a myth. Though rare, there have been documented cases of tornados developing on top of mountains. In this case, what we're looking at isn't a full-blown tornado, but rather a funnel cloud.

What's the difference? Both are high-velocity columns of spinning air but have one striking difference. Tornados must touch the ground, while funnel clouds do not. In fact, funnel clouds can transform into tornados if they touch the ground or a waterspout if it touches down on water.

According to meteorologists, what we're looking at is a potential landspout tornado, which is weaker than a regular tornado but can still cause damage. Though the event was short-lived, it was long enough for everyone in the area to get a spectacular show.

A rare funnel cloud was spotted over snowy mountains in western Montana.

h/t: [Yahoo!]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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