The Seasons of Tornadoes in Montana

March 10, 2023

tornadoes in Montana

Throughout the year, Montana experiences severe weather outbreaks including tornadoes. These tornadoes can travel hundreds of miles from one location to the next and cause significant damage.

When a tornado hits, it can cause damage to homes and businesses as well as to natural resources. These storms are fueled by low-level moisture and wind shear.

Spring is the Tornado Season

In spring, severe thunderstorms often form in warm, moist air near an eastward-moving cold front. These storms can produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes.

Traditionally, the peak tornado season for the most tornado-prone states in the southern Plains is from May into early June, while it's earlier on the Gulf coast and western parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest (e.g., Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa).

However, new research published by the National Weather Service indicates that the average tornado season has started earlier in the last few years. The research demonstrates that El Nino, an ocean-atmosphere oscillation that is linked to changes in the water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, plays a significant role in increasing tornado activity, especially in the eastern United States.

Tornadoes can be devastating, causing huge amounts of property damage and death. If you live in a tornado state, be sure to follow tornado procedures to stay safe. And keep an eye on the weather to know when tornadoes are likely to strike.

Summer is the Rainy Season

Although rainy, summer can be an exciting time to explore Montana. Countless festivals and outdoor events occur during this time, making it an ideal time to book your lodgings and camping spots.

In the summer, temperatures often rise above 90 degrees, with a few places in the state recording highs of 100 degrees. However, this hot weather can lead to heat waves and droughts if water supplies are not properly managed.

The summer rainy season usually runs from June to August but can extend as late as September and October, depending on the weather patterns. While the rain is typically light, it can cause problems if the storms are heavy enough to cause flooding or erosion.

The fall is another popular season for visitors to Montana. October brings the beautiful fall colors to life across the state, and the scent of woodsmoke lingers in the air. While autumn can be cold, it’s also one of the most peaceful times to visit Montana, when roads and trails are open, and the crowds are at their smallest.

Fall is the Tornado Season

Fall is the season of tornadoes in Montana, a state that is part of what is referred to as Tornado Alley. This area stretches from the Southern Plains up into the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest states.

Tornadoes are dangerous convective storms that can quickly spin up and spawn tornadoes. These tornadoes can have widespread and catastrophic effects on communities.

Whether your state is in Tornado Alley or not, tornadoes can happen anywhere in the country. Understanding your risk level for tornadic activity can help you prepare for them and be ready to take action should a storm threaten.

While the answer to this question depends on region, many states in the Southern Plains can expect tornado season to peak in May and June. This is because the warm, moist air is more likely to rise up into the atmosphere in these areas. This allows for more powerful tornadoes to form.

Winter is the Snow Season

Winter is the coldest season of the year and it comes after autumn and before spring. Animals hibernate during this time, and people wear warm clothing.

Winter can be a great time to visit Montana if you like skiing or snow sports. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities and the state has some of the best snow conditions in the country.

It is not uncommon for Montana to receive over 100 inches of snow in the mountains during winter, with many areas recording more than 3 inches of 3-month snowpack. However, the amount of snow that falls in Montana varies from year to year, with taller mountains receiving more snowfall than those in eastern Montana.

During winter, most Montanans enjoy snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, as well as hiking and fishing. Although winter can be a bit harsh, it is also a wonderful time to explore the wide open spaces and breathtaking landscapes of Montana.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
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