Yes, a tornado touched down not only right in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, but also in New Mexico, both locales not known for their twisters.
There’s a popular weather myth that tornadoes don’t like mountainous terrain, but the reality is that they can form just about anywhere. It’s just that ideal conditions for the often terrifying whirlwinds tend to occur more often over the flatlands of tornado alley in the middle of the continent.
As if to prove that they’ll go where they please, a swirling spout reached down from storm clouds over northern New Mexico’s Moreno Valley Thursday, ripping up the ground near the village of Eagle Nest, which sits at over 8,000 feet in elevation and is surrounded by the high peaks of the Sangre de Cristo range. Dramatic video captured near Eagle Nest Lake State Park showed the short-lived tornado wreaking havoc on the ground; multiple explosions suggest it may have torn up some parts of the area’s electrical grid.
— Mark Ronchetti (@KRQEMark) August 9, 2018
Weather spotters on the scene reported golf-ball sized hail, downed power lines and at least one overturned mobile home. There’s been no reported injuries. The National Weather Service says it may be the first tornado in the area in several decades.
A total of 23 tornadoes have been reported in Colfax County since 1950, including one on May 10, 2017 just east of Sugarite State Park. Today’s reported tornado near Eagle Nest *may* be the first documented one in Moreno Valley in several decades. #nmwx
— NWS Albuquerque (@NWSAlbuquerque) August 9, 2018