(Updated July 31, 2012, 2:15 pm MT)
I’ve lived all my life in Tornado Alley without ever hearing of a tornado in the Rockies. Wrong terrain. Wrong conditions. Right? Wrong.
Saturday a tornado was seen and photographed on Colorado’s Mount Evans at an elevation of 11,900 feet. It has been confirmed by the National Weather Service as the second highest in the record books. As if that road weren’t hairy enough, now I have to worry about tornadoes up there.
The highest known tornado occurred in 2004 in California’s Sequoia National Park at 12,000 feet.
Maybe it’s my age, but the weather just seems to get curiouser and curiouser.
While I’m on the subject, here’s an interesting map I just found on Boing Boing showing 61 years’ worth of tornado tracks in the U.S. (click twice for big view):
See? They stop dead at the Front Range of the Rockies. More or less. Or did, until Saturday.
For more photos, see The Weather Channel’s story.