Tornadoes are one of the most terrifying weather phenomena. They can be extremely destructive and can wipe entire towns off the map.
Colorado is known for tornadoes and we see them most commonly in the spring and summer months. The majority of tornadoes are EF-Scale or less.
The area where most tornadoes occur in the United States is known as Tornado Alley. This is a large, central section of the country that includes parts of the Midwest and Southeast.
There are several reasons why this region is prone to violent thunderstorms and tornadoes. One of the major reasons is due to its geography.
Another is because of its location near the Gulf of Mexico and Rocky Mountains. The warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with the cooler, dry air from the mountains and creates a natural counterclockwise flow.
During this process, the storms that form will be able to tilt and stretch to create tornadoes.
The area surrounding the Denver metro, including the Front Range and east of I-25, is often referred to as “Tornado Alley.”
This area has a high risk for tornadoes and storms that can become severe. This is especially true during the summer.
Tornadoes are an important part of Colorado’s seasonally changing weather, especially during the spring and summer months. During these times, we typically see more than three-quarters of the state’s tornadoes during the peak of the severe weather season (May-August).
Most Colorado tornadoes originate on the Eastern Plains and tend to be weaker on the Enhanced Fujita Scale of tornado intensity. This is due to the high-mountain terrain of the region and the fact that we have a lot of wind shear to work with.
A local feature that meteorologists and storm chasers pay attention to during the early summer is the Denver Convergence Vorticity Zone (DCVZ). The DCVZ helps to spawn thunderstorms, which can produce tornadoes in the Denver area.
Most of the tornadoes in Colorado happen in the spring, a time of year when thunderstorms are common. Those storms can be quite severe with heavy rain, damaging hail, and killer lightning.
During the summer, however, tornadoes are rare in Colorado Springs. The city is one of the most thunderstorm-prone areas in the country, with averages of 50+ storms per month from May through September.
In addition to tornadoes, Colorado Springs also experiences some of the highest rates of lightning injuries and deaths in the nation. Those injuries are particularly frequent during April and May, so it’s important to be prepared when severe weather comes our way.
The National Weather Service has a Tornado Tracking Map that provides details about tornadoes, including where they occurred and how strong they were. Clicking deeper reveals damage estimates and whether people were injured or killed in the twister.
Aurora is a growing suburb of Denver that's known for its beautiful mountain views and excellent schools. It's surrounded by many shopping options, restaurants and grocery stores.
Tornadoes are common in Colorado and occur most often during the spring and summer months. This is due to warm air and the presence of the jet stream causing wind shear, or low pressure.
The storms that cause tornadoes also produce damaging winds and large hail. They can be very dangerous because they can damage power lines, gas lines and electrical systems.
The most recent tornado to hit Aurora occurred on June 7 2009. It shut down the Southlands Mall and caused moderate damage.