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Funnel cloud spotted southeast of Fairplay ahead of another stormy day in Colorado

Fairplay funnel cloud_Phil George_June 30, 2023
Posted at 5:13 PM, Jun 30, 2023

BOULDER, Colo. — A funnel cloud was spotted east of Hartsel in South Park on Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) out of Boulder.

A spokesperson with NWS said the first report came in around 9:10 a.m. There were no reports of it reaching the ground, so it is likely a funnel cloud — not a tornado, which must touch the ground, he said.

The funnel cloud was reported near Wilkerson Pass and Elevenmile Canyon Reservoir and was moving northeast at about 30 mph, according to NWS. This is southeast of Fairplay and about 15 miles east of Hartsel.

Lucas Hirsch_fairplay funnel cloud.jpeg

There were also no reports of any damage or injuries.

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The spokesperson said the cloud had weak circulation.

While a tornado watch or warning was not in place Friday morning, NWS said a special weather statement was in place to warn the public of possible severe weather until 10 a.m.

Funnel cloud spotted southeast of Fairplay, Colorado

While it's not common to have funnel clouds or tornadoes in that area, the NWS spokesperson said they have happened in the past, though they're typically weak.

He said he can't rule out the possibility of more funnel clouds in South Park Friday, however the risk for severe weather is lower than Thursday. But even brief and weak tornadoes can damage mobile homes, roofs, vehicles and trees, NWS said.

Funnel cloud spotted southeast of Fairplay ahead of another stormy day

That also goes for the Denver metro area. The most intense storms of the day will hit south and southeast Denver.

The cooler temperatures will limit the amount of energy for severe storms in Denver, but the metro area could still see hail and heavy rain, which will lead to more street flooding. The far eastern counties of Colorado will still have some severe storms in the afternoon.