2nd Highest Tornado Ever – 11900 Feet on Mt. Evans [VIDEO]
The highest one according to the National Weather Service was just 100 feet higher at 12,000+ feet.
I'm here in Wyoming now, but lived in Colorado in and around the mountains most of my life. Seeing a tornado at these elevations is indeed rare! I found this video and some more information on The Weather Channel's website:
A tornado that touched down in the Colorado mountains on Saturday, July 28, is the second highest tornado in elevation ever recorded in U.S. history.
The tornado touched down on the northeast side of Mount Evans at an elevation of 11,900 feet. Mount Evans is about 60 miles west of Denver in the Rocky Mountain range.
"North America's highest paved road goes up to the summit of Mt. Evans," says weather.com Senior Meteorologist Jon Erdman. "Having traveled up this road, I can't imagine witnessing a tornado, there."
Twister at 12 Thousand Feet
Bob Glancy, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Boulder, Colorado told NBC News that this tornado is "not unheard of," but "just unusual." Most tornadoes in high terrain are weak, he said.
July 2012 will go down as the lowest July tornado count since 1951.
"The preliminary tornado count for July 2012 is 24 tornadoes (as of July 30)," reports Tornado Expert Dr. Greg Forbes.
"It got so hot and dry early (in the summer), and we've just continued to cook and dry out over the Central U.S. That's caused the below average tornado count in July 2012."
However, just because the pattern isn't favorable, doesn't mean tornadoes can't happen.
"Incredibly, a July 21, 1987 F4 tornado in the Tetons of northwest Wyoming traveled 24 miles and was up to 2.5 miles wide, leading to a massive blowdown of trees," said weather.com's Senior Meteorologist Jon Erdman. "That tornado touched down between 8,500 and 10,000 feet in elevation."
Colorado has averages about 50 tornadoes a year, for the past two decades. Most of those, however, occur on the plains east of Denver and not in the mountains.
The highest record tornado occurred in 2004 when a twister touched down in California's Sequoia National Park at an elevation between 12,000 and 12,500 feet.