Greg's 6/22/95 Falcon, CO Chase

FYI, I was on my way up from PUB to FCL and took a little side trip to Falcon, Colorado which placed me conveniently one mile away from a beautiful F1 tornado on the ground for 8 minutes.

Erik, one thing...we NEEDED one of these kinds of storms for VORTEX. It was very similar to the 24 May 1990 20N Cheyenne supercell and tornado that Hodanish et al. videotaped (have you ever seen this?).

The updraft base could not have been more than *3* miles in diameter, and had LP characteristics (circular base with smooth straited lower edges from the S-E-N-NW sides). I got on the updraft base near Black Forest in El Paso County (yes, in a forest of confiers), and then I turned south from BF and out of the trees. The base was about 4 miles to my east, and then within 5 minutes, a miniature RFD began to slice into the back of the circular base. I began to see an enhanced area of rotation under the north half of this (north of the clear slot), and then a funnel began to condense. In about 2 minutes, it condensed to 40% down when I noticed the debris cloud. All this time, I was driving east toward it. In the first 2-3 minutes, for a brief time (about 15 seconds) condensation connected with the ground, but for the most part and the strongest portion of the tornado, it was about 60% with the classic "up-down" motion apparent on both sides of the condesnation funnel. Well, I soon realized that the debris cloud was very CLOSE, so I drove to about 1 mile from it, as it blew apart several barns, and aircraft hanger, and the roof of a house (lots of chunk debris flew into the air). The tornado dissipated rather rapidly, and I shot about 10 pix of it (mainly from my car as I was trying to get close). While outside watching it, I heard no sound.

I surveyed the damage and found 6 structures with damage, all F1. Mostly roof damage and lots of corrugated sheet metal (those were the "chunks").

What makes this storm so intriguing was that it developed out what began as a rather benign looking updraft base, and that surface and upper air conditions did NOT support supercells. I did observe a weak north wind at the surface while 1W of the tornado, and after the tornado disspated, some light rain (big drops) and 1/2" hail fell for about 2 minutes (a small hook). Therefore, I would classify this as a Clasic-LP hybrid, and real small.

I was also monitoring the Colo. Spgs spotters. It was interesting to note that while the updraft base was benign (prior to the tornado), they kept saying they were seeing great rotation. Once it *really* started to rotate and begin funnelling, they said nothing! It wasn't until about 1 minute *after* I saw debris on the ground, did one say they had a tornado!

Also, spotters in Douglas county (including a pilot 27 miles away) could see this. I followed the updraft for 2 more hours (moving east about 15 kts) before a new storm to its SW seeded it and started its demise. All this time, the updraft would pulse with more RFD's cutting into the back side, but the rotation never spun up as fast as just before the tornado.

FYI, this is my *first* supercell tornado in Colorado. Also, the tornado occurred at 6500' elevation!