Possible tornado strikes Pikes Peak leaving behind large debris field

DENVER (KDVR) — A possible tornado may have hit Pikes Peak Thursday afternoon leaving behind a trail of downed trees in its wake.

At around 2 p.m., the Pinpoint Weather team noticed some severe weather in the Pikes Peak region in El Paso County and rotation on the radar. Some witnesses also reported seeing a path of damage.

Brad Carroll snapped some shots of a large debris field on the Pikes Peak Highway just a few miles short of the summit. He described it as a “clear path of destruction” as multiple trees had been downed and dispersed.

Pinpoint Weather Meteorologist Liz McGiffin said the National Weather Service will head up to the 14er to survey the damage and look at the way the trees had fallen. Not only would large trees be uprooted by a tornado, but they will be laying in different directions.

Photos captured from the scene show the trees scattered in all directions with many of them being snapped, leading to the conclusion that a tornado most likely struck the mountain.

Pikes Peak is known as “America’s Mountain” and sits at an elevation of 14,115 feet.

Pinpoint Weather Meteorologist Kylie Bearse said tornadoes at that type of elevation are rare, but they do happen.

On June 30, two funnel clouds were spotted in Park County. However, neither the clouds touched down as a tornado, but it is still rare for one to form at an elevation of 9,000-plus feet in the mountains.

NWS will provide an update on whether or not this was a true tornado once they are able to survey the mountain.

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