KRQE-TV - (happy 61th birthday October 3rd to the station) By Kayla Ayres - The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down west of Chama on Monday.
NWS Meteorologist Kerry Jones surveyed the swath of devastation, which included dozens of twisted and sheared off trees and several damaged buildings. Jones said it appears it was an EF-1 tornado that tore through the Lazy Triangle Anchor Ranch. The tornado was spawned by a supercell thunderstorm that caused damage over 30 miles.
“Had this struck a more populated part of northern New Mexico, the damage would have been far worse,” Jones told News 13.
The tornado hit in mountainous terrain, at an elevation of about 7,600 feet. Jones said while tornadoes in western New Mexico are rare, there are likely many more that go unreported and undocumented. Jones also said this time of year is prime for severe weather, and the only other documented tornado to have touched down in Rio Arriba County hit on the same day, Sept. 29, sixteen years earlier.
Jones said this storm will be used to learn more about how tornadoes form over mountainous terrain. More