Kiowa County EF0 Tornado May 18th 2010 (Update - Thursday)

Updated 12:10 PM, Thursday...

EF0 Tornado in northeast Kiowa County approximately 7:21 p.m., Tuesday, May 18th.  Courtesy Candy Batterton.


Severe Thunderstorms struck southeast Colorado the evening of May 18th, producing large hail across portions of Otero, Bent and Kiowa Counties, and a tornado in north central Kiowa County. 

A storm developed near La Junta shortly after 6 PM.  At 6:06 PM, a tornado warning was issued for this storm as it was developing northwest of  La Junta near Swink. This storm intensified, and wind over 60 mph were clocked at the La Junta Airport, north of town.  As it approached Cheraw, rotation was clearly evident by the hook shaped echo in the reflectivity image below.  Rotation was quite strong in the velocity image (lower image), as bright green colors, signifying strong wind flow towards the radar, were immediately adjacent to the bright red colors, indicating strong winds flowing away from the radar.  The radar images below were taken at 6:17 PM.



Around 6:17 PM the hook echo wrapped to the northeast and a broad, but strong rotation was still evident in the images below.


Four minutes later, at 6:21 PM, the storm had just about occluded as the rain and hail evident in the red, purple and white colors in the lower left picture wrapped around the southeast side of the storm.   


Finally at 6:25 PM, the storm had completely occluded. 

No tornado was reported with this storm, although several reports of rotation aloft were received as the storm passed north of La Junta and near Cheraw. 


Below is an image of the storm...

                                                       courtesy Lynn Allen through Brian Bledsoe, KKTV-11


Later in the evening, another supercell developed across Kiowa County.  Another tornado warning was issued for north central Kiowa County at 7:00 PM. 

Below is a radar image taken at 7:25 PM as the rotation signature was strongest, and the near the time the first report of a tornado was received.  A tight couplet, signifying intense rotation, is evident in the Storm Relative Velocity image (lowest picture) where blue colors are directly adjacent bright red colors. 


This storm continued to track over the open country northeast of Eads through 7:29 PM.  The rotation signature in the Doppler velocity fields are still quite strong 4 minutes later in the images below. 


The storm continued to move to the northeast across the open country of north central Kiowa County. 

Trained Spotters reported the tornado touch down at 7:21 PM several miles east northeast of Eads.  

Further investigation revealed a path of minor damage from County Road W to County Road 50.  An older power pole was snapped off at the base on County Road W.

The tornado continued to travel north northeast, twisting and overturning a center pivot irrigation system.

The tornado then crossed County Road 50, ripping some tree limbs off...


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