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‘Apocalypse Weather’ Sends Thousands of Montana Tumbleweeds Flying

posted: 12/11/15
by: Danny Clemens

A bout of severe weather in Montana set the stage for an eerie scene earlier this week, as gusting winds sent thousands of tumbleweeds rolling aimlessly across a frozen lake:

Some good Ol' Apocalypse Weather.

Insane. The temp dropped 19 F in as many minutes and there had to be thousands of Tumbleweeds. (For licensing or usage, contact licensing@viralhog.com)

Posted by Tom Forwood Jr on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

 

A National Weather Service report indicates that winds gusted up to 60 miles per hour in parts of the state around the time that the footage was taken.

If the tumbleweed exodus wasn't chilling enough, it was accompanied by a literally chilling temperature drop. According to Tom Forwood Jr., a Montana park ranger who uploaded a video of the bizarre scene to Facebook, the temperature dropped 19 degrees in as many minutes.

The unusual weather conditions and the striking visual scene have led some to describe the scene as a episode of "apocalypse weather."

Although frequently considered to be an essential symbol of the American Wild West, one of the most common tumbleweed species actually originated in Russia. Scholars believe that the invasive weeds first arrived in North America with Russian immigrants in the late nineteenth century, who brought contaminated flax seed to the New World.

"After its introduction, it became one of the most common weeds in the drier regions of the West. It spread by contaminated seed, threshing crews, railroad cars, and by windblown tumbleweeds," Utah State University's Great Basin and Invasive Weeds website explains.

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