By Chris Spears
DENVER (CBS4) – The National Weather Service in Cheyenne says the large tornado that captured the eyes of thousands last Wednesday near Laramie, Wyoming, was an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale used to rate tornadoes.
The twister was produced by an isolated supercell thunderstorm that developed north of Laramie during the late afternoon of June 6.
It initially touched down about 3-4 miles west of Highway 30 and tracked east, rapidly intensifying as it moved across open fields on the east side of the highway.
The tornado was rated EF-3 with peak winds estimated around 150 mph.
No deaths or injuries were reported but galvanized steel utility poles were bent 90 degrees and grass was scoured out of the ground in a wide swath that reached about a third of a mile wide near the intersection of County Road 121 and Cattle Drive.
The twister was on the ground for 53 minutes and traveled 11.3 miles.
A smaller, satellite tornado developed two miles south of the parent tornado and it caused damage to treetops, some fences and a well-built garage.
The garage was lifted off the foundation and shifted to the east.
Several nearby structures in the Antelope Ridge Loop subdivision to the north of Laramie sustained minor damage to siding and shingles.
The tornado was rated EF-2 with maximum winds estimated around 120 mph.
It was on the ground for 22 minutes and traveled just over a half mile.
The full write up on both tornadoes can be found here.
Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.