5/09/2015 — SNOW-NADO (cold tornado) forms over Colorado Springs, CO

A rare “cold” tornado has formed, and the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for the area due East of Colorado Springs, CO.

As a former resident of the Colorado front range, I know the area around Colorado Springs quite well.  The cold mountain air (below freezing) is mixing with the warm moist air of the plains (Kansas / Oklahoma).

snow-nado colorado springs may 9 2015

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The downdrafts from the upper slopes of the Rocky Mountains is usually quite strong, however the prevailing winds of the low pressure systems which press storms TOWARDS the mountains from the plains due to the counter-clockwise rotation of these large storms.

codnexlab.NEXRAD.PUX.N0Q.20150509.2219.200ani

Above: NEXRAD RADAR feed from Colorado Springs 400pm MDT , May 9 2015 shows multiple tornadoes forming very close to the RADAR station

The counter clockwise rotation pulls the warm air into the cold air.  As we all know, warm air rises, and cold air falls.  When the warm air is pushed into the cold mountain downdrafts, the warm air suddenly rises while mixing with the cold air.

When the warm air, and cold air mix aloft, storms and tornadic rotation forms in the COLD area.
snow-nado colorado springs may 9 2015a

Normally, we would expect warm balmy conditions for tornadoes to form, or extremely HOT days where supercells can break out under high humidity.

In this case we have overall cold temperatures, with a blast of warm air coming up from the Southeast moving to the Northwest.

temperatures may 9 2015 severe weather outbreak

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As it stands right now, a very large tornado warning has been issued in the area between Colorado Springs, and Denver, CO  (just East of Castle Rock, CO).

Also, in the South, a very large tornado watch zone has been issued *500pm CDT* across the midwest and South United States (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana)

severe weather may 9 2015a

 

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