THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Isolated thunderstorms on Tuesday were expected to produce more wind than rain, and that’s exactly what occurred in Thornton.
A large tree that toppled onto a home there was likely brought down by a microburst that caused a sudden rush of wind over 40 mph.
The weather setup on Tuesday primed the atmosphere for microbursts, since we had record heat along with very dry air near the ground.
When a thunderstorm moved out of the foothills and drifted east toward Thornton, the rain coming from the storm evaporated as it fell through the dry, hot air.
That evaporation process caused the air to cool and subsequently become more dense.
The higher density caused the air to quickly sink faster and faster.
When the air finally reached the ground, it was forced outward in every direction, causing damage and bringing down trees anywhere in its immediate radius.