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Funnel Seen Near Steamboat Was Tornado, First In Routt Co. Since 1995

By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) - A funnel cloud seen hanging from the sky near Steamboat Springs on June 24 has been classified as a tornado, meaning it made contact with the ground, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

The touchdown occurred about 7 miles west-southwest of the town of Clark, or 17 miles north-northwest of Steamboat Springs, around 10:20 a.m..

Steamboat Tornado
A tornado near Steamboat Springs on June 24. (credit: Gretchen Coleman)

A survey team from the National Weather Service in Grand Junction could not find evidence of a touchdown but eyewitnesses reported seeing a small dust cloud at the bottom of the funnel.

It's estimated that the tornado was on the ground for a minute or less.

Here's a link to the official storm report.

Storm Motion radar
Radar at the time a tornado was reported near Steamboat Springs. (credit: NWS Grand Junction)

The National Weather Service says it's the first confirmed tornado in western Colorado in 2018.

According to my research of the U.S. tornado database it's the third tornado recorded in Routt County since 1950.

On May 30, 1980, a tornado was reported southwest of Clark and on June 15, 1995, a small tornado was reported south of Steamboat Springs.

RELATED: First Tornado In 44 Years Hits Near Walden In Colorado's North Park

High altitude tornadoes are rare in Colorado. What's even more rare are tornadoes that occur before noon.

Less than an hour later a second tornado was reported in nearby Jackson County.

Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado's weather and
. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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