the evening of June 6, 1990,
an ominous dark funnel cloud
descended from a massive thunderstorm
near the town of Limon, Colorado.
Within minutes, an F3
tornado roared through the heart
of town, packing winds of 150200
mph. After the tornado passed,
many businesses and homes lay
in ruins. Miraculously, no lives
tornado activity rivals that
of the much better known Tornado
Alley. In fact, Colorado ranks
sixth among U.S. states in average
number of tornadoes per year.
In the 1990s, an average of
about 60 tornadoes raked the
state each year. In 1996, a
record 98 tornadoes were reported.
The thunderstorms that spawn
tornadoes are also very frequent;
only one other U.S. state has
more thunderstorms each yearFlorida.
all of Colorados tornado activity occurs in the plains east
of the Rocky Mountains. Tornadoes are comparatively rare in mountainous
areas because the rugged terrain tends to disrupt the storm conditions
needed for tornado formation.
eastern Colorados high
tornado activity, no lives have
been lost in several decades.
This is partly due to the fact
that Colorados tornadoes
tend to be relatively weak,
with most tornadoes classified
as F1 or F0 (possessing wind
speeds of less than 110 mph).
Another reason is that the eastern
plains of Colorado are sparsely
credits: © Corbis Images,
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NEWS4, Colorado's news channel.