Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Aurora Tornado Rated As EF-1 with 6 Photos

Aurora Tornado Rated As EF-1 with 6 Photos. In Denver, Meteorologists with the National Weather Service said Monday that the tornado that dropped in southeast Aurora Sunday afternoon rated an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.Based on a damage assessment conducted Sunday and Monday, the tornado had estimated wind speeds of around 100 mph, said Bob Glancy with the National Weather Service.The EF-1 scale ranges from 86 mph to 110 mph.

The Enhanced Fujita scale replaces the more widely known Fujita scale. The EF scale goes from EF-0, with winds of 65-85 mph, to EF-5, when winds are measured at over 200 mph.Damage from the Aurora tornado was considered mild to moderate.Homes and apartments in southeast Aurora had window damage, minor roof damage and a few broken garage doors. The Southlands Mall had roof and window damage, and the back part of one of its restaurants toppled.One car was flipped by the wind. A construction trailer north of the mall was torn apart.South of the mall, Lowe's home improvement store also had some roof damage, and lightweight sheds and other structures were destroyed.The tornado touched down 5 miles south of Buckley Air Force Base and moved south, southeast across open fields, some residential areas, and the Southlands Mall.The four other tornadoes that occurred on June 7 will be rated later this week. Those will most likely be rated an EF-O because there was little damage reported from the touchdowns.

The first tornado at 1:15 p.m. touched down 6 miles east of Lafayette in Adams County, near Interstate 25 and 144th Avenue, by the Orchard Town Center. It was on the ground for 10 minutes.The second tornado hit Aurora at 1:49 p.m. It was on the ground for 30 minutes traveling on an 8-11 mile path. The debris cloud was estimated at 3/4 mile in diameter.At 2:40 p.m. a third tornado warning was issued for the area 5 miles south of Bennett in Arapahoe County. That tornado was on the ground for 3-5 minutes. No damage was reported.Five minutes later, a tornado touched the ground in Elbert County, about 5 miles south of Deer Trail. It was on the ground for 2 minutes in the open plains and caused no damage.The fifth tornado touched down at 3 p.m. in Adams County, 3 miles north of Byers.

There is a possibility that a sixth tornado touched down in Elbert County, but that will need to be confirmed later this week, Glancy said.

(Heather Hammarstrom)
This photo of the tornado near Lafayette was taken near Interstate 25 and Highway 7.

(Mara Wagner)
Mara Wagner rode out the Aurora tornado in a salon at Southlands Mall with her daughter Karli.

(Becky Peterson)
This photo of the Bennett tornado was taken from Box Elder Creek ranches south of Bennett.

(Nicole Demel)
This Deer Trail was taken one mile east of the Sun Country Meadows development in Elizabeth.

This photo of the Byers tornado was taken 12 miles south of Strasburg.