Environment

Rare high-elevation tornado forms at the edge of Weston Pass Fire, Colorado


A rare high-elevation tornado touched down on the edge of Weston Pass Fire in Park County, Colorado on Thursday, July 5, 2018. 

The National Weather Service said the tornado touched down around 13:30 MDT (19:30 UTC) south of Fairplay, central Colorado at an elevation of about 3 km (10 000 feet) above sea level.

It then quickly receded back into the cloud before moving directly over the fire. 

High-elevation tornado running through Weston Pass Fire in Colorado on July 5, 2018. Credit: Wellington Fire

Credit: Wellington Fire

NWS meteorologist Russell Danielson said tornadoes are rare at that elevation and rare at any wildfire. 

No damage was reported as the area is sparsely populated and it had little or no effect on the fire, Danielson said.

This is only the sixth tornado recorded in Park County since record-keeping began in the 1950s.

This fire was caused by lightning on June 28. It has so far burned 5 221 ha (12 902 acres) of land and is just 17% contained.

Friday, July 6, should see isolated showers and thunderstorms developing late morning, becoming more scattered afternoon.

Featured image: High-elevation tornado running through Weston Pass Fire in Colorado on July 5, 2018. Credit: Wellington Fire



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