Tornado Weather in Colorado

admin May 27, 2010 0

The State of Colorado experienced 42 tornadoes last year in 2009 between April and the beginning of September. June saw the most tornadoes with 21 twisters. Tornadoes can occur as early as winter and early spring.

The first tornado warning of 2010 alarmed Coloradoans with an unexpected Denver weather forecast after the funnel was at its early stages of formation out near DIA on May 27th. This was followed later by a thunder and hailstorm.

Nationwide, 800 tornadoes are reported yearly with a death toll of 80 and over 1,500 injuries. The most violent tornadoes race at 250 mph spanning an area 1 mile wide and 50 miles long.

The early stages of a tornado begin when warm, moist air comes across eastward-moving cold fronts resulting in a large hail, strong winds and eventually a cyclone.

The weather in Colorado allows for tornadoes due to the Rocky Mountains that are nicely set up for air to come to an upslope toward higher terrain. This upslope is the perfect catalyst during rapidly developing thunderstorms.

There are three types of tornadoes.


  • 69% of all tornadoes
  • Results in less than 5% of deaths
  • Lasts ~1-10minutes
  • Winds at less than 110 mph


  • 29% of all tornadoes
  • Results in approximately 30% of deaths
  • Lasts up to 20 minutes or longer
  • Winds between 110-205 mph


  • 2 % of all tornadoes
  • Results in 70% of deaths
  • May last over 1 hour
  • Winds over 205 mph

If the Denver weather forecast issues a tornado warning, take the following precautions:

  • Seek shelter in a basement or a tornado-proof structure
  • If no basement is available, shelter yourself under a sturdy piece of furniture on the lowest floor in the hallway or central room away from windows
  • If you are in a car, get out of it and find a ditch or tunnel to stay in as vehicles are easily swept away
  • Mobile homes should be abandoned for more secure shelter
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado

The best way to avoid a tornado in the state of Colorado is to stay ahead by keeping yourself up-to-date on Denver weather.

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