Watch This Exclusive Video Of The Laramie Peak Tornado
To say Wyoming's weather in 2023 has been wild, is really an understatement.
In the first half of the year we've had blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, record breaking snowfall, extreme flooding, torrential rains, daily thunderstorms and even funnel clouds & tornadoes.
One of those funnel clouds and an actual tornado happened around Laramie Peak, south of Douglas, west of Wheatland and north of Laramie in the North Laramie Range.
I had the opportunity to catch the action in the sky on video, when I was out on an afternoon side by side ride around Medicine Bow National Forest. It may be one of the coolest videos I've ever captured, which you can see below.
I grew up, and spent many years, in the mid-west and never saw anything tornadic, to this degree. Over the last few years, there have been devastating tornadoes that have destroyed towns across different parts of the country. If I ever had to deal with a tornado, or funnel cloud, this one is exactly how I'd like to do it.
After chatting with my storm chasing friend, I couldn't determine if it ever touched the ground, because the bottom was covered by a mountain. Either way, he said it has a full tornadic cycle and roped at the end, just like a tornado would.
A quick check of the National Weather Service shows it was a tornado.
You may hear the terms funnel cloud or tornado mentioned from time to time and not know the difference.
Here you go.
Funnel cloud is a tornado that never touches the ground. A tornado makes contact with the ground and many times causes damage.
Just because a funnel cloud doesn't make contact, doesn't mean it's not serious, because it could turn into a tornado at anytime. On the other hand, seeing a funnel cloud doesn't always mean it's going to turn into a tornado.
You should always use caution, be alert and remove yourself from harms way.
In my situation, the funnel cloud was between me and my campsite in the Friend Park Campground.
As soon as I saw the funnel in the sky, I stopped and was multiple miles away from the storm. Right behind me was blue sky, but not so much in front of me.
The wild part was that when I finally got back to my campsite, it hadn't rained at all and the skies were blue and the sun shining. 20 minutes later is was a different story, black clouds moved back in, thunder rolled and the rain and hail fell.
As I mentioned, I was able to capture the whole process of the funnel cloud from full on to disappearing on this video. It was one of the coolest things ever.