DENVER (CBS4) – A northeast Colorado farmer and his son got quite a show from Mother Nature on Wednesday while they were out cutting wheat. A severe thunderstorm produced a landspout tornado less than a mile from their location and it was all caught on camera.
David and Jaxsen Schram first spotted the developing tornado around 5:41 p.m. near the Sand Draw State Wildlife Area located southeast of Julesburg in Sedgwick County. They filmed the tornado for nearly 10 minutes.
David’s video shows a clear transition between the dust whirl stage and organizing stage of the tornado’s development, which in meteorology we call tornadogenesis. The organizing stage is when the condensation funnel fully extends to the ground, making a visual connection between the funnel above and the dust whirl below.
In the video David says, “it’s starting to connect!”
It’s a great reminder that when you see a funnel cloud to always look directly below to see if there is a dust whirl on the ground. If there is one then you have a tornado in progress. As the tornado grows the funnel will fully develop and extend down to the ground.
A total of 13 tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service in northeast Colorado and southwest Nebraska late Wednesday. Some of the reports could be for the same tornado. There were no injuries reported in the area but one outbuilding was destroyed.
There are a few different types of tornadoes and the classification has to do with the type of thunderstorm that produces it. The ones from Wednesday were landspout tornadoes because they were associated with non-supercell thunderstorms.
A landspout tornado appears tall and skinny, resembling a waterspout. While any tornado can be dangerous, a landspout tornado is typically weak, producing wind speeds that are classified as EF-0 or EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
See David and Jaxsen’s nearly 10 minute encounter with this surprise tornado in the video below.