The National Weather Service said the funnel clouds seen over Bozeman on Sunday are common and unlikely to turn into tornados and cause damage.

Keith Jaszka, a weather service meteorologist, said he suspected spinning columns of warm air shot up into the cold atmosphere, causing two wind funnels. He said the weather radar for the area isn’t very good and didn’t give a lot of clues, but that’s how “cold air wind funnels” typically form.

He said more of the funnel clouds are possible this week.

Funnel clouds are fairly common in Montana and even in the southwest part of the state, he said. Of his four years with the weather service, however, this is the first time he’s heard of a funnel cloud in the Bozeman area.

“It’s not unprecedented, but it’s not a common event either,” Jaszka said.

In the unlikely event that a wind funnel touches ground, he said people should head inside. He said an interior room on the first floor of a home or building is the safest place.

The weather didn’t affect any flights departing or arriving at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport on Sunday, said Scott Humphrey, airport deputy director. He said it was pretty windy at the airport but that was normal for this time of year.

“There was nothing out of the ordinary but some winds as the fronts came through,” he said.

Humphrey said there was one incoming flight canceled Sunday because of weather in Dallas.

“They were having tornados down there,” he said.

The wind funnels came on the heels of Bozeman getting drenched with hail and rain last week. Several videos posted to social media showed cars driving through flooded Bozeman streets.

Jaszka said 1.09 inches of rain has fallen in Bozeman so far in June, which is 0.38 inches below normal.

Rain showers and thunderstorms are likely to continue through Wednesday, he said. During that time, Bozeman could expect steady, heavy showers and thunderstorms in the evening, but it’s unlikely to be raining the entire time.

That weather is expected to stick around through the week, Jaszka said. From Thursday to Saturday, highs are expected to be in the 60s, while Sunday is estimated to be closer to the 70s.

Jaszka said those high temperatures are 10 degrees below normal for this time of year.

“It’s unfortunately not going to feel like summer (this weekend),” he said.

Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.


Freddy Monares covers politics and county government for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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