National Weather Service evaluating damage from Thursday tornado | KOB 4

National Weather Service evaluating damage from Thursday tornado

Eddie Garcia
August 10, 2018 05:23 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Thursday afternoon's tornado near Eagle Nest Lake is one of the most photogenic to touch down in New Mexico in recent memory. 


What may come as a surprise is that it happened in mountainous country. But Meteorologist Todd Shoemake at the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque says tornadoes can happen anywhere.

"There's this common weather myth that tornadoes do not occur in mountainous locations, but that myth was certainly busted yesterday," Shoemake said. "Eagle Nest Lake is roughly 8,300 feet in elevation."

The Enhanced Fujita Scale was developed to rate tornadoes based on damage.

"We usually rate tornadoes from a scale of zero to five—zero being the weakest and five being the strongest," Shoemake said.

But until crews assess the damage on the ground, the tornado will remain unrated.

"We will look at these structures and see what kind of damage was caused, and also the structural integrity of it, the construction that went into it," he said.

New Mexico does have a history with tornadoes, especially across the eastern region of the state where Thursday's twister was spotted.

"The top 10 most fatal or injurious was interesting that four of them actually occurred in Colfax County, which is where Eagle Nest is," Shoemake said.

The worst on record occurred March 23, 2007, when an EF-2 tornado in Clovis caused two deaths and more than 30 injuries.


Eddie Garcia

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