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Interesting Colorado Tornado Facts

NOAA Photo Library/Getty Images

Over the last few days we here in Colorado have been reminded in a hurry that it’s tornado season with watches warnings, and even touch downs near us. Although we aren’t in the Kansas, Oklahoma “Tornado Alley” area, Colorado is still very prone to produce a twister or two this time of year. 

Although the reason I am writing this article is because of the recent storms in the area, and also because it’s the sixth anniversary of the worst tornado in Colorado history in Windsor, May is NOT the worst month for tornadoes in Colorado. That would be June. The sixth month has seen over 700 twisters since 1950. The next closest month is July with over 400, and May comes in third with about an equal amount as July. The season isn’t limited to those three months though. August, April, September, October, March, and February have seen at least a couple tornadoes.

Some other interesting Colorado tornado facts:

Top five tornados for injuries

  • May 22, 2008 – 78 injuries, one fatality, Windsor
  • June 3, 1981 – 42 injuries, Thornton
  • June 6, 1990 – 14 injuries, Limon
  • Oct. 17, 1971 – 9 injuries, Wray
  • March 28, 2007 – 9 injuries , 2 fatalities, Holly

Most destructive (property damage) since 1996

  • $147 million – Windsor – May 22, 2008
  • $8 million – El Paso County – May 28, 2001 (two others occurred at the same time in El Paso that caused a total of $120,000 in damage)
  • $6 million – Arapahoe County – Aug. 29, 2002
  • $4.01 million – Prowers and Kiowa counties (Holly) – March 28, 2007
  • $4 million – Lincoln County – May 31, 1999

Top 5 counties for tornadoes

  • Weld – 252
  • Adams – 158
  • Washington – 133
  • Elbert – 101
  • Kit Carson – 93

Time of the day tornadoes are most likely

  • 72 – Midnight to noon
  • 161 – 12:01 to 2 p.m.
  • 192 – 2:01 to 3 p.m.
  • 294 – 3:01 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • 264 – 4:01 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • 270 – 5:01 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • 235 – 6:01 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • 191 – 7:01 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • 132 – 8:01 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • 136 – 9:01 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

Top 5 years for tornadoes

  • 1996 – 98
  • 2004 – 84
  • 1992 – 81
  • 1991 – 76
  • 2010 – 71
  • 1993 – 71

Facts courtesy of Rocky Mountain PBS.

NEXT: Remembering the Windsor Tornado

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