June 28th Damaging Wind Event - Rangely, Colorado

Rangely, Colorado, Damaging Wind Event on 6/28/11

Google Map of location where Microburst struck near Rangely, Colorado on June 26, 2011
Google Earth Map – Blue lines indicate the boundary of the most significant wind damage in Rangely.

Strong damaging winds from a thunderstorm struck the town of Rangely in northwest Colorado on the evening of June 28, 2011.   Based on a NWS storm survey of the Rangely area, it was determined that a (dry) microburst had occurred. A dry microburst is a type of concentrated thunderstorm outflow wind that is caused by evaporative cooling of the air near the base of the thunderstorm where rain evaporates as it falls into a much drier layer of air. 

The initial impact point of the microburst was located just southwest of the Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) campus, with the greatest damage in Rangely having occurred on the campus. Based on the NWS storm survey, estimated winds in that area ranged from 70 to 85 mph.  A significant portion of a roof on North Nichols Residence Hall was lifted up and blown completely over the structure. Debris from North Nichols Residence Hall was found up to a quarter mile away on the northeast end of the campus.   A dozen mature Russian Olive trees on the campus were uprooted, and large limbs and branches were snapped off many other trees. One of the uprooted trees fell against the CNCC president’s house, causing some damage to the roof.  Other wind damage to property on the CNCC campus was observed during the NWS storm survey.
Further away from the CNCC campus, additional wind damage also occurred, although it was generally a little less destructive than the CNCC damage, with estimated wind gusts ranging from 55 to 70 mph. There was an observed wind speed measurement of 54 knots (62 mph) from the AWOS at the Rangely Airport (4V0) where a section of wooden fence was blown down and a swamp cooler blown from the roof of the terminal.   Many trees within the town of Rangely were uprooted or lost large limbs or branches. A few trees were snapped off a few feet above the ground, including ash trees with trunk bases generally ranging from 6 to 10 inches in diameter.   A wood frame carport was ripped off an apartment building on East Main Street. A large trampoline in the northeast part of Rangely was blown into the air and landed about 75 yards away in a neighbor’s yard, while a 400 pound water tank was blown across a road.

All of the observed and reported wind damage was consistent with a straight- line convective wind event, as all of the debris was generally pointed to the northeast, with the directions ranging from north-northeast to east-northeast. 

   Damage as a result of the Microburst Wind event that struck Rangely, Colorado on June 28, 2011

Nichols North Residence Hall at the CNCC Campus in Rangely, Colorado...note missing sections of the roof from the southwest corner of the building

Nichols North Residence Hall, CNCC, Rangely, Colorado

Image of roof damage as a result of a microburst at a CNCC Residence Hall in Rangely, CO. on June 28, 2011

Residence Hall damage as the result of a Microburst Wind event in Rangely, Colorado

Damage from Microburst to Residence Hall in Rangely Colorado

Inside Residence Hall - Nichols North - Roof Missing

Image from inside the Residence Hall at CNCC after microburst on June 28, 2011

 Tree blown over on the CNCC campus in Rangely, Colorado on June 28, 2011

Tree leaning against home in Rangely, Colorado as the result of microburst winds

Shed blown over by strong Microburst winds in Rangely, Colorado on June 28, 2011

- Click on Images for a larger picture -





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