May 25th tornadoes - EF1 in Baca County (Updated 2PM, Friday, May 28th)

*** UDATED with new information on Baca County EF1 tornado ***

Several EF0 tornadoes occurred in eastern Kiowa County during the afternoon of May 25th, 2010, mainly south of Highway 96, near Towner and Sheridan Lake.  The investigation continues.  The tornadoes were reported in Kiowa County between approximately 3:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m...and then again around 5:20 p.m.

One storm chaser in the vicinity claimed to have seen 12 separate, small, short-lived tornadoes, of the landspout variety.  (See another article on landspouts here from the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids, Michigan).  The storm chaser also may have seen a tornado associated with a supercell (rotating) thunderstorm.  A copy of the HD video and 2000 still images has been requested by the National Weather Service in Pueblo for documentation purposes.  

*** NOTE:  This episode was similar to one which occurred in Prowers County on May 29, 2001 when six landspout tornadoes and one supercell tornado (rated F3) occurred in the span of 1 1/2 hours.  ***

None of the tornadoes in Kiowa County on May 25th, 2010 did any significant damage to structures, power poles, or trees, thus, they will all be rated EF0.

Below are some photos taken of the "landspout" tornadoes taken by NWS SKYWARN weather spotters and law enforcement.

Images above courtesy of Howard Votruba.                                                                     

Image courtesy Kiowa County law enforcement.

Image courtesy Kiowa County Law Enforcement.


Meanwhile, in Baca County several funnel clouds were reported during the early evening hours.  Between 7:52 p.m. and 8:07 p.m., a supercell (rotating) thunderstorm produced a tornado, in and near Bartlett.  Bartlett is comprised of a few houses along US Highway 160, northeast of Walsh, CO.

At the intersection of CR51 and US Highway 160 (Bartlett), a tornado damaged some trees and blew out the windows and partially damaged the roof of a mobile home, consistent with high end EF0 damage.  The tornado moved toward the northwest, damaging a road sign on CR51, then intensified.  This tornado, northwest of Bartlett, moved north-northwest for around two miles over open country.  The tornado did some damage to fencing and uprooted large cottonwood trees in the Bear Creek dry wash, consistent with EF1 damage, before moving over open fields.  

Below is the approximate path of the tornado...


Below are some images of the tornado as it widened then "roped out" northwest of Bartlett taken by storm chaser ROGER HILL.

Supercell near the Colorado-Kansas state line.


Tornado just northwest of Bartlett, CO


Tornado weakens slightly.

Further weakening.


"Roping out" around 8:07 p.m.

Below are some photos of the uprooted cottonwood trees in Bear Creek wash northwest of Bartlett, consistent with EF1 damage.  Tree damage occurred in an area approximately 300 yards across. Photos courtesy Freddie Randolph and the Mundells.

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