Tornado near Mt. Evans, Colorado

July 28th, 2012 |
GOES-15 (left) and GOES-13 (right) 10.7 µm IR channel images

GOES-15 (left) and GOES-13 (right) 10.7 µm IR channel images

A tornado was observed and photographed near Mt. Evans in north-central Colorado around 2:51 PM local time or 20:51 UTC (Local Storm Report) on 28 July 2012. A comparison of McIDAS images of 4-km resolution GOES-15 (GOES-West) and GOES-13 (GOES-East) 10.7 µm IR channel data (above) showed that the thunderstorm which produced the tornado developed fairly rapidly just to the east of Copper Mountain (station identifier KCCU), but was relatively small in size and did not exhibit particularly cold cloud top IR brightness temperatures (-40º C at 20:45 UTC, and -52º C at 21:15 UTC).

AWIPS images of 1-km resolution MODIS 0.6 µm visible channel and 11.0 µm IR channel data at 20:28 UTC (below) showed that the storm was beginnng to produce a few negative cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, with a minimum IR brightness temperature around -50º C at that time.

MODIS 0.65 µm visible and 11.0 µm IR channel images (with cloud-to-ground lightning strikes)

MODIS 0.65 µm visible and 11.0 µm IR channel images (with cloud-to-ground lightning strikes)

The CIMSS Cloud Top Cooling Rate product (below) did flag the storm at 20:32 UTC as it was beginning to develop in north-central Colorado.

GOES-13 instantaneous Cloud Top Cooling Rate product

GOES-13 instantaneous Cloud Top Cooling Rate product

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