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I chased a storm building west of Anton, Colorado on this day. It was showing signs of becoming a powerful storm. After dumping quarter size hail and damaging many crops in the area it moved on to Cope where it began to have tremendous downbursts. A storm 40 miles northeast of this one had a tornado in it both confirmed by doppler radar and the destruction found afterwards. One mobile home was completely destroyed. This storm was putting down rotating down bursts everywhere. Sometimes there were as many as 6 mini twisters(gustnadoes) around me. I was on highway 36 and the rotating clouds were on all sides of me, in front of me and behind me. Gust fronts can cause rotating ground disturbance in front of them making it look like min-tornadoes. 

Mini tornadoes(gustnadoes) I call them. They were all around me. It was one wild ride for almost 45 minutes. The winds pegged my wind meter (65+ mph). I estimate these to be F0 gustnadoes. Trees lost limbs, houses had the antennas ripped off their roofs, I watched as these winds do their damage. Finally the storm organized and produced a tornado just over the Kansas border.

No more gustnadoes, now this was the real thing. Kansas’s weather officials reported a tornado in this area at the same time but they were on the other side of the tornado. I was on the north side of this tornado. Where I sat it was quiet, no winds, making it seem even more erie. After this tornado dissipated  I headed back   home. 

Besides producing this tornado this cell also put down 3 inch hail which caused the worst damage. A storm that was north of this one met it here and they combined into one large storm front as they moved through northwestern Kansas.


A funnel cloud near Fort Morgan Colorado on May 22nd, 1998. This storm put down hail that piled 2 feet deep in spots in Brush Colorado and destroyed many building roofs.

More ground disturbance near a Colorado power plant beneath this building storm.


30 minutes later this same storm developed into this rotating wall cloud about 6 miles south and 5 miles east of Brush. It was growing in intensity and rotation became more evident. About 45 minutes after taking this photo this same storm put down a tornado that destroyed a trailer house near Otis Colorado.
Thank goodness no one was home, but the trailer was a complete loss.


This small funnel cloud was reported by trained weather spotters as a tornado. I was 3 miles from it so it is difficult to see, but it was reported as on the ground. The ground disturbance was minimal and it did not do any damage other than pulling weeds out of a farmers field. A photographer working for the Discovery channel was next to me. He was filming for a new program to air in the future. One hour later and doppler radar indicated a tornado on the ground over an unpopulated area south of I70 and east of Burlington Colorado.
Funnel Cloud or tornado?
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Gustnado forms off to side

 

Cone tornado spins violently

 

Cone tornado spins violently

 

Weather Symbols

Funnel Cloud drops from storm cloud

More Funnel clouds

Wall cloud seen here indicates a Mesocyclone - a rapidly rotating air mass within a thunderstorm that often gives rise to a tornado

 

 

 

 

 

 

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