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Summary
 

The October 2010 tornado outbreak was the largest in Arizona history and was also notable for producing the highest count of tornadoes ever in a single event that took place west of the Continental Divide. At least eleven tornadoes were recorded during the morning hours of October 6, 2010. The most active time was from 4:00 AM - Noon MST. The National Weather Service office in Flagstaff issued 28 Tornado Warnings, 25 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, and 1 Flash Flood Warning during this event. Multiple tornadic storms repeatedly developed over the same locations in north-central Arizona, keeping the small area under a constant tornado threat for several hours. Large hail (up to baseball-sized) was reported. The duration, intensity, and number of tornadoes distinguished this event apart from any other event in history west of the Continental Divide and in Arizona.

 
Map Overview and Event Meteorology

 

This was an unusual event meteorologically for northern Arizona. All parameters that are required to generate severe thunderstorms and tornadoes were in place at once. A cold low pressure system off the California coast and strong southwesterly winds allowed enough moisture, instability, and atmospheric rotation to produce the observed tornadoes.

Radar Loop October 6th From 4:24 AM - 10:27 AM

Radar Loop October 6th From 4:24 AM - 10:27 AM

Radar Loop October 6th From 10:32 AM - 1:50 PM

Radar Loop October 6th From 10:32 AM - 1:50 PM

Tornadoes that Impacted Bellemont, AZ on October 6th

Tornadoes that Impacted Bellemont, AZ on October 6th

Radar Image Of The First Tornado Near Blue Ridge

Radar Image Of The First Tornado Near Blue Ridge

Satellite Infrared Imagery Depticting Tornadic Storm Clouds

Satellite Infrared Imagery Depticting Tornadic Storm Clouds

Velocity Image Showing Tornadic Cirulation Headed Towards Bellemont

Velocity Image Showing Tornadic Cirulation Headed Towards Bellemont

Pictures

 

Tornado Tracks In Bellemont

Tornado Tracks In Bellemont

Arial View Of Tornado Tracks In Bellemont

Arial View Of Tornado Tracks In Bellemont

Bellemont Tornado Damage

Bellemont Tornado Damage

Bellemont Tornado Damage

Bellemont Tornado Damage

Bellemont Tornado Damage

Bellemont Tornado Damage

Bellemont RV Park Tornado Damage

Bellemont RV Park Tornado Damage

Multiple Train Cars Derailed In Bellemont

Multiple Train Cars Derailed In Bellemont

Semi Blown Over On I-40 In Bellemont

Semi Blown Over On I-40 In Bellemont

Several Trees Snapped In Half Near Bellemont

Several Trees Snapped In Half Near Bellemont

Trees Snapped From The Blue Ridge Tornado

Trees Snapped From The Blue Ridge Tornado

Trees Snapped From The Blue Ridge Tornado

Trees Snapped From The Blue Ridge Tornado

Baseball-sized hail in Cornville

Baseball-sized hail in Cornville

 

Points of Contact
  • National Weather Service: Brian Klimowski, Meteorologist-in-Charge at (928) 556-9161 ext. 222 or brian.klimowski@noaa.gov
    Tony Merriman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at (928) 556-9161 ext. 223 or tony.merriman@noaa.gov
  • Coconino County: Coconino County Emergency Management at (928) 679-8310 
  • Camp Navajo: Camp Navajo Construction Facilities Management Office at (928) 773-3235