DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is a state known more for epic snow than tornadoes.
But it turns out these violent winds of Mother Nature are quite common, especially on the Eastern Plains.
Between 1950-2014 there were 2,023 tornadoes listed for Colorado in the U.S. Tornado Database.
Data shows that tornado sightings have risen from 108 in the 1950s to 435 in the 2000s. The 1990s were particularly active for tornadoes with just over 600 reported.
Between 1980-2009 Colorado averaged just over 450 tornadoes per decade.
Tornadoes in Colorado are most common during the afternoon and early evening.
86% of all tornadoes between 1950-2014 were reported between 1 and 8 p.m. with 5 p.m. being the most common hour.
Early morning and overnight tornadoes are rare but they’ve happened.
Tornadoes have been recorded during every hour of the day in Colorado except 4, 5 and 8 a.m. and during every month between February and October.
While tornado records before 1950 are scarce, there are newspaper accounts of a tornado that touched down in Crowley County on Nov. 4, 1922 just before 5 a.m. near Sugar City. The storm roared to the north-northeast, killing four and injuring 25 others.
Later that morning a tornado was reported near Holyoke that killed one person and injured three more.
It’s unclear if it was two separate tornadoes spawned by the same weather system or one long-track tornado that would have been on the ground for roughly 4 hours.
Tornado sightings ramp up fast starting in late April and the tornado season typically hits a peak between June 1-10.
The early days of June have brought many memorable tornadoes to Colorado, including one that hit Limon on the evening of June 6, 1990. The F-3 twister destroyed much of the downtown and injured over a dozen people.
More recently an EF-1 tornado touched down in southeast Aurora on June 7, 2009, causing damage at the Southlands Mall.