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Mountain tornado may be 2nd highest on record in U.S.

A tornado touched down on a Colorado mountain

July 30, 2012|Meteorologist Brent Watts

The myth that tornadoes can't form in the mountains was busted again. On Saturday (July 28), a rare high elevation tornado developed in the mountains of Colorado.

What makes it so rare is that it could be the second highest ever in elevation on record in the United States.

The tornado touched down at around 11,900 feet in elevation on Mount Evans. National Weather Service meteorologists say it's not unheard of, but also state the U.S. sees far more tornadoes in the lower elevations.

"The mountain touchdown is a bit unusual," stated NWS Meteorologist Bob Glancy in an interview for

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are researching the high elevation tornado and using it as a case study for future storms.

Mount Evans is a 14,265 feet mountain in the Front Range region of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Other mountain tornadoes have been captured on camera. Below is video from a tornado crossing a mountain in Alabama.


In 2011, a tornado went through the Town of Pulaski the over the mountain, crossed Interstate 81, where it moved into Draper.

Mountain tornadoes may be more common than we realize. Since most people live in valleys and not on mountains themselves, the high elevation tornadoes may go unnoticed.

Kind of like, if a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If nobody lives on the mountain to see the tornado, it will go undocumented.

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