Colby, Kansas Tornado - 8/7/06


Colby, Kansas Tornado

August 7, 2006


Overview

A TORNADO DEVELOPED IN COLBY KANSAS AROUND 649 PM CDT MONDAY EVENING...NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF INTERSTATE 70 AND HIGHWAY 25. THE TORNADO PRODUCED MINOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO A MOTEL AND GAS STATION AT THAT LOCATION. FOUR PEOPLE WERE INJURED BY FLYING DEBRIS OR BROKEN GLASS. THE INJURIES...CUTS AND BRUISES...WERE DESCRIBED AS MINOR. A PARKED SEMI TRUCK WAS BRIEFLY LIFTED INTO ANOTHER TRUCK.

THE TORNADO PERSISTED FOR APPROXIMATELY 10 MINUTES. ITS PATH LENGTH WAS APPROXIMATELY FIVE MILES. AS THE TORNADO MOVED TO THE NORTHWEST...IT DAMAGED VEHICLES AT A CAR DEALERSHIP AND A NUMBER OF HIGHWAY SIGNS. THE TORNADO DISSIPATED IN AN OPEN FIELD APPROXIMATELY TWO MILES WEST NORTHWEST OF COLBY.

A STORM ASSESSMENT TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN GOODLAND KANSAS WAS DISPATCHED SHORTLY AFTER THE TORNADO OCCURRED. THE TEAM PROVIDED A RATING OF F1 ON THE FUJITA SCALE FOR THIS TORNADO. THE RATING WAS BASED ON DAMAGE DONE TO A 45 FOOT SIGN SUPPORTED BY THREE I-BEAMS WHICH HAD COLLAPSED PLUS OTHER MINOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE.

THE FUJITA SCALE WAS DEVELOPED BY THEODORE FUJITA AS A WAY TO CATEGORIZE TORNADOES BY THE DAMAGE THEY PRODUCE. AN F1 TORNADO IS CONSIDERED WEAK...BUT CAN PRODUCE WINDS FROM 73 TO 112 MPH.

Storm Survey
Colby, Kansas
I-70 Region

In the images above... the tornado path is represented by the red line. The tornado first developed south of Interstate 70 and moved to the northwest. F1 damage was noted to a 45 foot sign supported by three I-beams which was collapsed. The tornado continued over open fields with the final damage noted to a corn field. The path length was approximately five miles. (Click image to enlarge).


Analysis
Radar (6:54 pm CDT)
Satellite (7:00 pm CDT)

In the images above... the radar during the time of the tornado. Satellite imagery showed the large thunderstorm responsible for producing the tornado in Colby, Kansas. (Click image to enlarge).
Radar Loop
Click the link above for a one hour radar loop and detailed interpretation.


Tornado Photos

   

The images above show the tornado with a debris cloud near Colby. Photos courtesy of Sandy Swob. (Click image to enlarge).

   

The images above show the tornado south of I-70 (left) and north of I-70 (right). Photos courtesy of Linda Taylor. (Click image to enlarge).

     

In the left image, the tornado is located near I-70. With time, the tornado elongated with a rope-like appearance. Photos courtesy of Gary Baumfaulk. (Click image to enlarge).

     

The tornado starts the rope out stage in the three images above. Photos courtesy of Carolyn Armstrong. (Click image to enlarge).

   

The images above show the tornado roping out as it began to dissipate. The photos were taken from the southeast side of Colby with the view looking towards the northwest. Photos courtesy of Rick Haeffner. (Click image to enlarge).

Damage Photos
   

The damage photos shown above occurred just south of Interstate 70. F1 damage was noted with the collapsed three I-beam sign (left). Other damage was observed at the Comfort Inn near the indoor pool area (right). Photos courtesy of Gary Shull. (Click image to enlarge).

Special thanks to the Thomas County emergency management and local law enforcement for providing assistance during the event and storm survey.


BLAIR / MENTZER / PIETRYCHA


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