National Weather Service Confirms Strongest Colorado Tornado In Over Seven Years
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder, Colorado confirmed on Sunday morning that an EF-3 tornado touched down near Berthoud, Colorado on Thursday – making it the strongest tornado to hit the state in over seven years.
The tornado damaged several houses as it trekked in a relatively populated area near the northern Denver suburbs of Berthoud on Thursday evening, but no injuries were reported. The NWS said in its official storm survey that the tornado was 200 yards wide and tracked five miles, staying on the ground for 13 minutes.
The storm moved in an unusual direction, taking a west-northwest track as it hovered along the border between Boulder and Larimer counties about 30 miles due north of Denver. Typically, Colorado (and most American) tornadoes will move east or north, but westward movement, likely as a result of southeasterly low-level ‘upslope’ flow, dictated the storm’s unusual direction.
While tornadoes are far from uncommon in the Centennial State – the state averages 53 twisters per year – strong tornadoes are a far rarer occurrence. According to Meteorologist Chris Spears from CBS 4 in Denver, the only EF- or F-4 or 5 tornado to ever hit the state occurred in May 1977 in southern Baca County, which is on Colorado’s border with Oklahoma.
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Meteorologist Chris Bianchi