Severe Weather Hits Southeast Colorado, June 2nd - updated

A weather disturbance in combination with moist, unstable air across far southeast Colorado produced a combination of severe hail, severe wind, and a tornado.

Strong to marginally severe thunderstorms moved from the eastern mountains, through the I-25 corridor and onto the eastern plains between Noon and 3 p.m.  After that, storms developed and quickly became severe across Bent, Las Animas, Kiowa, Prowers, and Baca Counties.  Hail was reported to ping pong ball size around Lamar and in areas of eastern Kiowa County. 

Shortly before 4 p.m., a strong thunderstorm west of Lamar collapsed, sending a downburst of severe winds through the Lamar Airport and then into Lamar.  Measured wind speeds of 66 mph were clocked at the Lamar Airport.  Damage across the Lamar area included: downed power poles and tree limbs...

courtesy Staffon Warn

 

partially torned off and damaged roofs (below is the park swimming pool building)...

courtesy Staffon Warn

 windows blown out, a tipped over big rig, and this structure at a gas station...

courtesy Staffon Warn

The duration of the severe winds, in some areas of Lamar for nearly 30 minutes,  likely caused more damage. 

A phenomenon which occurred during the severe winds in both Prowers and Kiowa Counties was gustnadosA gustnado is a low level circulation on the leading edge of of a strong or severe downburst.  We have received reports that some saw circulating dust and debris with the greatest wind damage across the southern part of Lamar.  Investigation is ongoing to determine if a gustnado occurred in that area.  Please submit photos to NWS Pueblo.  We do have reports of gustnados in Kiowa County, where a strong wind boundary pushed through.

However, below is a photo of a tornado taken southwest of Eads with that strong wind boundary moving in...

courtesy Chris Sorensen

This is another look at the non-mesocyclone (landspout) tornado which passed south of Eads.

courtesy Jeanne Sorensen

As this strong wind boundary with the landspout neared Eads, a weak storm was over Eads, as seen by the radar below...

 

A few minutes later, after the strong wind boundary hit the weak storm, it rapidly intensified...

 

Below is a higher resolution look at NWS Pueblo's Doppler Radar image of the severe storm around Eads, with a fat hook echo (or pendant) extending to the south.

 

The severe storm was co-located with the landspout tornado, which had a path length of around 2.5 miles between 5:08 p.m. and 5:12 p.m.  NWS Pueblo's Doppler Radar detected the rotating thunderstorm just southeast of Eads. 

Below...just southeast of Eads, the adjacent red and green colors indicate rapid rotation.  Red indicates air flowing away from the radar, and the green (to the north of the red)  indicates air flowing toward the radar.

Kiowa County officials investigated the area and found no damage, therefore the rating was an EF0 tornado.

Updates to this story will be available as new information is obtained.

 

Submitted by Tom Magnuson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Pueblo, CO  at 1 p.m., Tuesday, June 5th.



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