10 years ago today, on May 22nd, 2008, a tornado impacted the town of Windsor and surrounding areas of northern Colorado.
The tornado touched down at around 11:26 am, very early in the day for tornado development in Colorado, northeast of Platteville and followed a path towards the north northwest, which is unusual for tornadoes. Over the course of its 24.26 mile continuous path the tornado moved through the town of Windsor and eventually lifted 6 miles west northwest of Wellington around 12:08 pm. The entire path of the tornado stayed mainly east of the I-25 corridor and away from heavily populated areas like Loveland and Fort Collins.
This was a high end EF-3 tornado with winds up to 165 mph. There were 78 injuries, ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones, and one fatality with this storm, a man trying to flee a trailer park in a motor home. 850 homes were damaged and 300 were severely damaged or destroyed adding up to $147 million in property damage, making it the 4th costliest disaster in Colorado.
Aside from the tornado, the storm also produced damaging winds and widespread baseball size hail.
There have been 22 EF-3 tornadoes since 1950, with the Windsor Tornado being the most recent. We’ve only had one EF-4 tornado in the state’s known history and that was in the southeastern corner of Baca County back in 1977. 98% of tornadoes here are rated EF-2 or weaker.
While our tornadoes do tend to be on the weaker side, stronger ones can happen and it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Know where your tornado safe place is at home, work, school, or anywhere you frequent. You can learn more about tornado safety and preparedness here.