Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message
Storm Highway by Dan RobinsonClick for an important message

MYTH: Tornadoes can't happen in mountainous areas.

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TRUTH: Tornadoes can happen in all types of terrain. In the United States, multiple tornadoes have been documented in the Rocky Mountains: In Colorado, tornadoes occurred near Pike's Peak [1] and Mount Evans [2]. On July 21, 1987, an F4 tornado crossed the Continental Divide during its traversal of the Teton Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park [3]. The world record for the highest-elevation tornado is at just over 12,000 feet in Rockwell Pass, California on July 7, 2004 [4].

During the Super Outbreak in April of 1974, 148 tornadoes occurred in 13 states during a 16-hour time frame. Some of these traversed the most rugged terrain in the Appalachian Mountains: this map shows tornado damage paths in southeastern West Virginia denoted by red lines, with the F-scale (intensity) number indicated beside each path:

Source: NOAA Public Affairs

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Storm chaser and photographer Dan Robinson
About the Author: Dan Robinson has been a storm chaser, photographer and cameraman for 30 years. His career has involved traveling around the country covering the most extreme weather on the planet including tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, floods and winter storms. Dan has been extensively published in newspapers, magazines, web articles and more, and has both supplied footage for and appeared in numerous television productions and newscasts. He has also been involved in the research community, providing material for published scientific journal papers on tornadoes and lightning. Dan also holds an active Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA (Part 107) for commercial drone operation.

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