Weird wind: Night storm whacks parts of Missoula, misses others

Rob Chaney

Missoulians may be forgiven for wondering if their cross-town neighbors lost touch with reality during Monday night’s weather event.

“My house was shaking the whole time,” National Weather Service meteorologist Trent Smith said of his South Hills neighborhood, which absorbed many of the 65-mph-plus gusts that rattled the valley around midnight. “I was getting pounded all night long with the west winds.”

And yet, an NWS observation site in the Rattlesnake neighborhood on the north side of the valley recorded a peak wind speed of 10 mph the same night. The storm that toppled trees in Bonner Park couldn’t fluff a leaf pile in Pineview Park.

A wind storm ripped through Missoula, causing trees to fall throughout the city.

Ben Smith

The wind monitor used by paragliders on Mount Sentinel recorded steady winds of 40 mph and gusts of 76 mph Monday evening. Out at Missoula Montana Airport, the anemometer hit 67 mph during the beginning of the storm, and 68 mph when wind directions shifted close to sunrise Tuesday.

Transmission line damage from falling trees cut electricity service along much of the Interstate 90 corridor, including

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