Poster Session P9.11 An analysis of the 22 May 2008 Windsor, Colorado, tornado

Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Madison Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Daniel T. Lindsey, NOAA/NESDIS, Fort Collins, CO; and S. D. Miller, J. Braun, and D. Bikos

Handout (492.1 kB)

On 22 May 2008, a rare damaging (EF3) tornado struck the town of Windsor, Colorado. Windsor is situated near Colorado's Front Range, slightly east of Interstate 25, which is along the populated "Urban Corridor." A deep upper-level trough encompassed much of the Western U. S., allowing for south-southeasterly mean winds to steer storms forming east of the Front Range into more populated regions. The storm of interest formed near Denver International Airport in a climatologically favored region for initiation, then moved to the north-northwest passing west of Greeley and hitting the town of Windsor directly.

This paper provides an overview of the event, focusing on the setup from a satellite perspective. Visible imagery from GOES revealed a boundary separating warm, dry air to the south from cool, moist air to the north. Clearing north of this boundary allowed a narrow tongue of very unstable air to develop, and the Windsor storm was feeding on this air as it progressed to the north.

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