DENVER (CBS4) – It’s been seven years since Colorado has seen a tornado classified as EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Ironically that storm was in the same general area when it hit Windsor on May 22, 2008.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Berthoud on Thursday was an EF3 with maximum winds estimated between 135-140 mph.

It hit near the Boulder and Larimer County line at 6:34 p.m. approximately three miles south of Berthoud.

The tornado was 200 yards wide and tracked 5 miles to the west-northwest for 13 minutes.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

While the majority of the damage along it’s path was EF1 with pockets of EF2, there were a few small areas with EF3-rated damage.

Tornadoes are given a rating based on the maximum damage produced.


Since 1950 there have only been 22 other tornadoes recorded in Colorado given a rating of F3 or EF3.

Prior to 2007 tornadoes were rated on the Fujita Scale and given a rating a F0-F5.

But new research prompted the National Weather Service to make updates to how tornadoes are rated.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale is now used and tornadoes are given a rating of EF0-EF5.

Colorado has never had a tornado in the modern record that touched down with a rating a 4 or 5 but there has been one F4 tornado that traveled into our state out of Oklahoma.

It produced damage in southern Baca County on May 18, 1977.

To learn more about Colorado tornadoes click here to see the series of stories that recently aired during CBS4’s Tornado Week.

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.


Leave a Reply