Strong winds, heavy rain, damaging hail, and tornadic activity is certain not uncommon in Northern Colorado, but at 6:30am?

A strong thunderstorm cell approached Keota this morning at around 6:30am bringing with it the usual afternoon type punishment we receive during the Spring and Summer. Reports from the National Weather Service this morning, as early as 6:15am, showed a strong thunderstorm 23 miles southwest of Kimball, Nebraska and heading south at 15mph. It was showing "some rotation" on radar.

At around 6:37am, the National Weather Service Twitter page reported that a tornado had touched down in an open field about 5 miles northwest of Keota. Along with that was golf ball-sized hail. No damage was reported.

There were two tornado warnings issued for the area with the first happening about the time the tornado hit the open field. The second one was an extension of the first and expired at 7:42am.

Kyle Fredin, National Weather Service meteorologist, told the Greeley Tribune that while tornadic activity at this hour is not unheard of, they do occur "maybe once every three to five years." Fredin also said these "nocturnal thunderstorms" (between midnight-8am) are more common between July and early September.

Source: Greeley Tribune