Tornado Index # 20090818.8.192562


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Disclaimer |?|

Note: This approximate tornado path has been generated from data provided by the SPC.

The Tornado History Project generates approximate paths through separate historical archives provided by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Paths generated from the NCDC data are typically more detailed, but neither archive gives exact path information. There are several reasons that paths may be inaccurate:

  • Tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates were recorded with only 2 digits of decimal precision (i.e. [33.72, -86.15] vs [33.71689, -86.15463]). As a consequence, the observed points on the map may be slightly off from actual. Note that beginning in 2009, up to 4 digits of decimal precision are given.
  • Coordinates have not historically been calculated via GPS (Global Positioning System). Thus, tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates should be considered as estimates only.
  • Tornadoes may not have been in contact with the ground for the entire path as depicted on the map. Storm damage in any location depicted under the "path" should not be inferred.
  • Although paths are drawn as straight lines between any two sets of coordinates, the tornado may have "zigzagged" in some way.
  • Although paths are drawn as uniform thin lines on the map, it is likely that the tornado changed size over its lifetime. Damage in any location depicted under (or not under) the "path" should not be inferred.

Even with the above in mind, the data is the best available. If you see a path that is depicted incorrectly, please post a comment in the tornado forum indicating why you belive the path to be incorrect.

Paths generated from NCDC data are typically more detailed due to the way coordinates are listed in each archive:

  • SPC database - A maximum of 2 coordinates (touchdown and liftoff) is given for each tornado, or each state segment of a tornado if it is a multi-state tornado. Thus the vast majority of paths are depicted as simple straight lines.
  • NCDC database - Some tornadoes have mutliple sets of coordinates within any state, generally corresponding to entry and exit points by county. Thus, since more coordinates have been used to draw the path, the depicted path should be more accurate. Having said that, most tornadoes do not have additional path data in the NCDC archive. When they do, paths are drawn from the NCDC data.

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Statistics   Definitions |?|

The following statistics and definitions are derived from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) historical tornado archive. The Tornado History Project can not guarantee the accuracy of the underlying data within the SPC historical tornado archive. However, the data as presented here is guaranteed to match the SPC data, except where noted.

Some definitions will not be given since they are obvious (i.e. "Date", "Time", etc...)
Special Note: This site uses a unique index number to identify each tornado. This index number is not a part of the official historical tornado archive.

E (Error) (tornado search table only) - A yellow box indicates that the tornado record contains a suspected error. A red box indicates that the tornado record contains an error and has been modified from the official source. Hover over the box for the error text.
Map/Forum (tornado search table only) - Clickable icons for further content related to a tornado.
State - The state or states affected by a tornado.
Fujita - The Fujita scale is an attempt to classify damage from a tornado. F0 being the least damaging, F5 the most. For 2007 and beyond, the Enhanced Fujita (EF) is given.
Fat. - The number of fatalities attributed to the tornado.
Inj. - The number of injuries attributed to the tornado.
Width - Width in yards. It is unclear if this indicates a maximum width or mean width.
Length - Length of tornado path in miles. Note the entire track length is not necessarily all on the ground (some tornadoes "hop and skip".)
Damage - Prior to 1996, this is a range by dollar amount. For 1996 and later, actual damage estimates are in millions.
Crop Loss - Added in 2007. Given in millions of dollars.
Lat/Lon - Contains two sets of coordinates:

  • Touchdown Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate touchdown location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, entry point into the state in decimal degrees.
  • Liftoff Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate liftoff location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, the exit or lift-off point from the state in decimal degrees.

St. #. - The state tornado number assigned to the tornado for that specific state for that specific year. Generally, state tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.
SPC # - The tornado number as assigned by the SPC. Tornado numbers are not unique and reset each year. Generally, tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.

Tornado Summary

Date (y/m/d)TimeFujitaFatalitiesInjuriesWidthLengthDamageCrop LossTouchdown Lat/LonLiftoff Lat/LonSPC #State #
2009-08-1813:16:00 31001009.31--38.9625 / -105.52138.9676 / -105.3481075
Affected StatesAffected Counties
Colorado Park
User Comments   (1)      
General Comment  Tornado Video
2010-03-29 20:50:54
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Rank: F0

I filmed and reported on this tornado(s).  Originally, I called-in the first tornado to NWS (B222) sighted at around 1:17pm, August 18, 2009 just off HWY 24 near a location approximately a mile northwest of where I saw the funnel first touch down near 11 Mile State Park.  The first funnel had swirling ground disturbance/debris directly below the well defined cloud-based funnel, and I referred to it, at that time as a tornado of unknown strength.  Apparently, a Park Ranger at 11 Mile State Park called in this tornado a minute before at 1:16pm.  The funnel gained in intensity as I was filming as it hit the mountain range that runs north and southward where Wilkerson Pass is located.  The funnel deformed and deminished as it crested the mountain range it hit.

At the time, my car registered outside air temperature at 58f degrees.

I then drove eastward on highway 24 across Wilkerson Pass.  I drove through pea sized hail, and my car registered outside air temperature of 42f.  I saw a funnel forming (or the same funnel reforming) off highway 24 facing slightly south eastward heading toward the town of Lake George.  The approximate elevation was 8,200ft above sea level, and Pikes Peak was clearly visible in the background as the funnel intensified and turned vertical.  When the funnel descended to tree top level, I heard police or fire sirens in the background coming from the town of Lake George.  Humidity and dew point were noticably higher during this second funnel's formation.

I drove through the town of Lake George and filmed a destroyed mobile home, and many very large up rooted trees with moved boulders, and split roots.  A number of the large pine trees I filmed across the lake to the south were splintered and halved facing in oppositie directions.  I took the tornado footage to Channel 5 News in Colorado Springs,  Channel 5 uplinked the footage to 9 News and Weather Channel.

The National Weather Service office from Boulder, Colorado did a damage survey noting more than 9 miles of forest damage consisting of downed and splintered trees, with some property damage consistent with EF1 strength.  This damage survey was reviewed and confirmed by damage survey expert meteorologists Tim Marshall and Evain Bookbinder.

The following link shows VIDEO formation of the second EF1 tornadic funnel.

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