High winds strike El Paso County - June 26th

An area of relatively weak thunderstorms moved into El Paso County from the southwest Friday afternoon.  One storm produced winds of 45 to 55 mph with some gusts over 60 mph between 2:35 p.m. and 2:50 p.m. There was small limb damage to numerous trees, and some larger limbs were also knocked down.  By far the greatest damage was to the El Paso County Courthouse in downtown Colorado Springs.  A large section of the roof was peeled off at approximately 2:40 p.m.  A contractor worker on the roof was slightly injured.

National Weather Service Doppler Radar from Pueblo showed this bowed radar echo at 2:33 p.m entering southwest Colorado Springs....

At 2:37 p.m., the storm took aim at downtown Colorado Springs...

At 2:42 p.m., the storm's reflectivity diminished a bit as the strongest winds struck southeastern and central Colorado Springs ahead of the heavier rain...

It is likely that rain evaporating into a relatively dry air mass over Colorado Springs caused a cooling of the air.  The dense, cool air pushed out in advance of the storm...causing a fairly wide swath of high winds...a macroburst.  Winds likely gusted over 60 mph in parts of downtown Colorado Springs, and a measured gust of 61 mph occurred at the Colorado Springs Airport at 2:41 p.m.

Tom Magnuson,  Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Pueblo.

Steve Hodanish, Severe Weather Program Leader, NWS Pueblo.

Last updated...June 26th 11:00 p.m.


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