7/09/06 REPORTS: CO

Figures that after forgetting about this season, 7000+ miles and only one distant tornado (Patricia, TX) to show for it, i'd end up 200 yds from a tornado only miles from my house in Pueblo West.

Was headed home when i saw a mean looking storm to the west, complete with very low rain free base to the south and very green core to the north. So, naturally i kept heading west, hoping to get some hail. On the way i observed a white funnel north of the highway. When i hit the rfd, i pulled off to the south on a business road that parallels highway 50, and backtracked to the east, keeping the 'wall cloud' in sight.
I was quite surprised to see a debris cloud just over the other side of the highway. I followed the tornado on a 2+ mile path east, when the debris cloud widened. Large chunks of debris were being lofted into the air. I pulled over and called my office to report what i was seeing. I never saw the full condensation funnel since i was too close to the debris cloud, but saw some pretty good pics of it taken from a distance later on the local news. Unfortunately, yesterday was the one day i had no camera with me :angry:
Im gonna try to get a hold of some of the many photos ive seen from local residents.
Will probably end up on the books as an F0, but it did flip a trailer and push cars around, so wasn't
too wimpy :)

Maybe it's only of interest to meteorologists, but i wonder how to classify this event. Most in the media immediately referred to the tornado as 'nonsupercellular' or a 'landspout'. Im not sure it's that simple. The storm did have many supercellular characteristics in terms of visual appearance. It did not have a strong low-level radar signature, but a storm to the east on the same boundary did have a strong low level meso and other characteristics (a BWER) of a supercell. Generally the distinction argued is that a landspout develops as a storm forms on a pre-existing boundary. In this case (and i will be reviewing radar today to make sure) i believe the storm moved onto the boundary. I dont believe the vorticity came from the boundary, but was rather formed by the storm itself, just as it would with a supercell. So, it may be correct to refer to the storm as a weak supercell. An interesting question. Id like to hear what some who are more familiar with landspouts and the E CO plains think about it.
Well, i definitiely brought my camera today!

Edit: after reviewing radar loops; the storm did in fact form on the boundary, in line with a landspout
hypothesis.
Second Edit (7/11) here's a pic taken by a coworker A Lutz, looking very spoutish. 6 tornadoes reported in this county since '96, but apparently none with this degree of damage. F0-F1. will be obtaining some more photos shortly, also some of the funnels in the SL Valley last couple of days.
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sorry for the delay, but just obtained these real cool pics courtesy Randall Coan, pretty much from the same vantage point i had. the tornado was moving east, just north of highway 50 in Pueblo West. ended up doing ~100K damage.

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