In typical Idaho fashion, when Mother Nature decided to send thunderstorms, she did it with a bang.
The National Weather Service in Pocatello issued three tornado warnings and multiple severe thunderstorm warnings throughout the day.
The first warning was issued early on for the Island Park region around 8:45 AM. Thunderstorms typically need heat to grow, meaning an early morning thunderstorm of that strength was unusual.
Once the morning showers dissipated, sunshine lit up the region giving that much needed heat to drive a series of powerful storms in eastern Idaho.
The three tornadic storms all spawned in the late afternoon with two spawing back-to-back near Lava Hot Springs . The first tornadic storm formed near Roberts around 4:50 pm. That storm moved north and eventually lost steam as it moved into the mountains of Clark County. The second tornadic storm grew quickly just north of Lava Hot Springs and became a tornado warned storm at around 6:50 pm. The storm then moved through the Gem Valley area in northern Caribou County and into rough terrain in eastern Bonneville County. The third one also gained strength and became tornadic north of Lava Hot Springs, and moved in a similar path as the second tornadic storm towards eastern Bonneville County.
Tornadoes in Idaho are uncommon, but not unheard of. The state averages about 3 to 5 tornadoes a year, according to the National Weather Service. The most likely season for a tornado in Idaho usually happens in late summer to early fall.
Besides the tornado warned storms, other powerful thunderstorms ripped through the region producing powerful wind gusts. Our VIPIR radar indicated a 73 mph wind gust outside of Shelley. Quarter sized hail was reported near Roberts and other locations. Several locations reported small stream, and urban street flooding with the heavy downpours.
The system that brought all these storms is expected to slowly move out of Idaho bringing much cooler weather and high mountain snow (above 7000 feet) in its wake.