Tornado-US14 Interpretive Site


photo of an interpretive sign

Tornado-US14 Interpretive Site its along the Bighorn Scenic Byway.

The Majesty of Nature

On June 25, 1991, the trees in this area blew down in a windstorm event which meteorologists define as a “traveling Microburst.”  Approximately 1,100 acres were affected along an 8 mile path.  This microburst began on Highway 14 near Granite Pass and extended northeast to a point just west of the Black Mountain Fire Lookout.  High winds lasted only fifteen minutes, but toppled enough trees to build 350 homes!  A majority of the trees have been salvaged for lumber, while some areas were left in a natural state.

A microburst is defined as a strong downdraft which induces an outburst of damaging winds on or near the ground.  Microbursts typically occur from the death of a thunderstorm cell when updrafts decrease and allow a column of air to rush to the ground.  The sudden gust of wind can be compared to pointing the nozzle of a garden hose downward at an angle so that the jet of water hits the surface to generate a fan-shaped outburst.  The damaging winds associated with microburst can reach peak speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Dayton, WY
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Tongue Ranger District

General Information


From Dayton,WY, take US 14 west for about 27 miles then turn south and continue on Hwy 14 for another 8 miles.

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