(Las Animas, CO) -- Waking up Saturday morning, you're likely just appreciating the rain the region received Friday night. It was a wild ride at times as SE Colorado had a thunderstorm watch, and then a warning and then eventually Bent County reported a tornado warning.
Christol Saunders lives on highway 194 near the Otero/Bent county line and was out in her yard watching the skies. She captured these beautiful but somewhat haunting weather photos.
Earlier in the day, I was just doing the mundane, cleaning out the email, organizing folders etc, when a notification popped up that the Colorado Storm Chasers were live. I hopped on over to see what they were finding. They said they were just heading east on H94 out of the Springs because it was fairly local enough for them to do. And they said they didn't expect much out of this storm. If you're not following them, do so, because they're very good. They explain where they are, where they're going and often what the storm is expected to do.
They headed east but missed some of the action out of Bent county.
And here is the tornado reported in Bent County as caught on camera by the Bent County/Las Animas Fire Protection District.
That storm also took down some power lines on Bent County road 14 north of Highway 50.
Saturday is expected to be calmer BUT the chance of afternoon thunderstorms is present across the eastern plains, yep, that's us for sure but the report says it should be later in the day.
Here is the exact wording from the weather statement from the National Weather Service.
This hazardous weather outlook is for portions of central...east central...south central and southeast Colorado. .DAY ONE...Today and Tonight Gusty winds and low relative humidity values will lead to critical fire weather conditions across the San Luis Valley today. Isolated storms are possible across the far eastern plains from around 2 pm to 7 pm today. Storms will generally stay sub-severe, though do think there is a small chance for a severe storm or two near the Colorado and Kansas border. If a severe storm were to occur, hail to the size of quarters and wind gusts to 60 mph would be the main hazards. .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Sunday through Friday Near-critical fire weather conditions are expected across portions of the San Luis Valley Sunday and possibly Monday. Isolated afternoon and evening thunderstorms are possible across the eastern mountains and plains on Sunday. The main hazards will be cloud to ground lightning and wind gusts to 40 mph. A few of the storms along the eastern border may become strong, and be capable of producing strong wind gusts and large hail.
As always, I will tell you to be careful getting photos and videos should you see something you feel is spectacular. I have experience in storm chasing and severe weather coverage from my days in Oklahoma. I spent much time while working in Tulsa with the News on Six (KOTV) Meteorologist Jim Giles. Jim was truly loved by the community for his ability to explain a storm and where it was expected to be and what it could do.
(photo, Tulsa Historical Society)
For the history lovers, here is a flashback to some of Jim's work. It was awesome to learn from him.
Just sharing some photos, information and thoughts. I wish you a very peaceful and calm day today. But should it kick up, we'll let you know when and where as we get the accurate information.