The first tornado of Colorado’s severe weather season touched down on Tuesday near Kit Carson.
South Fire Metro Rescue’s public information officer, Eric Hurst, reported a few gustnadoes around 4 p.m.
The tornado did not stay on the ground long, and no damage was reported. In the video, it crosses U.S. Highway 40. Other storm chasers also confirmed several other twisters.
- 15 miles east-northeast of Wild Horse Point (Lincoln County) – several trained spotters reported a tornado, location was estimated by radar
- 14 miles south-southwest of Wild Horse (Cheyenne County) – Cheyenne County Sheriff reported three tornadoes with wall clouds
- 10 miles south of Wild Horse (Cheyenne County) – tornado viewed on storm chaser’s live cam
- 13 miles north of Firstview (Cheyenne County) – multiple reports of tornado near the intersection of Road DD and 3
Colorado gets about 50 tornados a year, but only 25 have been large EF-3 or higher rated twisters since record-keeping began in 1950.
The difference between gustnadoes — landspout tornadoes — and the larger tornadoes more regularly discussed is how they’re produced. In Colorado on Tuesday, the twisters were produced by non-supercell thunderstorms, leaving them smaller, weaker and more likely to be on the ground for a short time. Supercell thunderstorms rotate and grow much larger tornadoes that can be long-lived and extremely dangerous.
The tornadoes were just some of the severe weather that hit Colorado on Tuesday. It is common for Colorado to start receiving severe weather in April, but toward the end of May is when its worst hits. Hail is common, and tornadoes that do touchdown are usually east of Interstate 25 due to increased moisture on the eastern plains, further from the Rocky Mountains’ rain shadow.
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