Colorado has had some nasty tornadoes over the years. They tend to happen in the same areas, at similar times of the year, causing thousands, if not millions of dollars in damage and even sometimes even lives as well.

Where Do Tornadoes Happen in Colorado?

Tornados typically form on flat land, making Colorado's eastern plains the perfect location for a twister to take shape. Most of Colorado's past tornadoes have been spotted in and around small eastern towns such as Sterling and Lamar, but have also caused significant damage in bigger cities including Greeley and even Denver.

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What Makes a Tornado in Colorado Among 'The Worst?'

There are a lot of factors when categorizing Colorado's tornadoes as the worst in the state's history. For example, things such as the number of deaths or injuries caused are taken into account, as well as the tornado's EF rating (see below) and the dollar amount of damage caused by the tornado.

Colorado Tornadoes are Categorized by EF Ratings?

Tornadoes are categorized on a scale called the EF Scale which rates them based on the power of the tornado. For example, Colorado has a recorded history of tornadoes ranging from F-0 to F-4 on the EF Scale. However, because of the location and other factors, a tornado's EF rating isn't always directly related to the amount of damage caused.

Here are 35 of the worst tornadoes in Colorado's recorded history:

Colorado's Worst Tornadoes Ever Recorded Ranked by Intensity

F1 Tornado on June 3, 1981, in Weld County Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused two injuries and $500,000 in damage in Weld County on June 3, 1981.

F1 Tornado on October 11, 1997 in Las Animas Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused six injuries and $200,000 in damage in Las Animas on October 11, 1997.

F1 Tornado on October 11, 1997, in Bent County Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused six injuries and $200,000 in damage in Bent County on October 11, 1997.

F1 Tornado on June 26, 1999 northeast of Sterling, Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused $100,000 in damage northeast of Sterling on June 26, 1999.

F1 Tornado on June 26, 1999 northeast of Sterling, Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused one injury and $500,000 in damage near Centennial, Colorado on August 29, 2002.

F1 Tornado on June 9, 2004, in Sterling, Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused two injuries and $1.9 million in damage in Sterling, Colorado on June 9, 2004.

F1 Tornado on July 9, 2004, in Pueblo, Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused $100,000 in damage in Pueblo, Colorado on July 9, 2006.

F1 Tornado on June 7, 2009, near Centennial, Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused two injuries and $500,000 in damage near Centennial, Colorado on June 7, 2009.

F1 Tornado on June 21, 2010, near Wray, Colorado

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This F-1 tornado caused $380,000 in damage near Wray, Colorado on June 21, 2010.

F3 Tornado on October 17, 1971, in Kiowa County, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $50,000 in damage in Kiowa County, Colorado on October 17, 1971.

F2 Tornado on June 16, 1979, in Cheyenne County, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused $500,000 in damage in Cheyenne County, Colorado on June 16, 1979.

F2 Tornado on June 3, 1981, in the southwest of Denver, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused $500,000 in damage southwest of Denver, Colorado on June 3, 1981.

F2 Tornado on June 3, 1981, in Thornton, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused one death and $5 million in damage in Thornton, Colorado on June 3, 1981.

F2 Tornado on June 8, 1986, in Denver, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused six injuries and $500,000 in damage in Denver, Colorado on June 8, 1986.

F3 Tornado on June 15, 1988, in Denver, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused seven injuries and $8 million in damage in Denver, Colorado on June 15, 1988.

F2 Tornado on May 30, 1996, near Fort Morgan, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused $150,000 in damage near Fort Morgan, Colorado on May 30, 1996.

F2 Tornado in 2001 in Elbert County, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused five injuries and less than $100,000 in damage in Elbert County, Colorado in 2001.

F2 Tornado on May 15, 2003, in Baca County, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused $120,000 in damage in Baca County, Colorado on May 15, 2003.

F2 Tornado on June 16, 2004, in Bent County, Colorado

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F2 Tornado on June 15, 2009, in Elbert County, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused $100,000 in damage in Elbert County, Colorado on June 15, 2009.

F2 Tornado on April 27, 2012 south of Lamar, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused $500,000 in damage near Lamar, Colorado on April 27, 2012.

F2 Tornado on April 27, 2012 south of Lamar, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused seven injuries and $500,000 in damage near Lamar, Colorado on April 27, 2012.

F2 Tornado on April 27, 2012 south of Lamar, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused nine injuries and $500,000 in damage near Wray, Colorado on October 17, 1971.

F3 Tornado on August 15, 1974, in Sterling, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $50,000 in damage in Sterling, Colorado on August 15, 1974.

F3 Tornado on June 24, 1979, in Colorado Springs, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused one injury and $50,000 in damage in Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 24, 1979.

F2 Tornado on June 15, 1988, in Denver, Colorado

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This F-2 tornado caused $500,000 in damage in Denver, Colorado on June 15, 1988.

F3 Tornado on June 6, 1990, in Lincoln County, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $5 million in damage in Lincoln County, Colorado on June 6, 1990.

F3 Tornado on July 7, 1993, in Kit Carson County, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $500,000 in damage in Kit Carson County, Colorado on July 7, 1993.

F3 Tornado on May 30, 1996, in Washington County, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $300,000 in damage in Washington County, Colorado on May 30, 1996.

F3 Tornado on July 5, 2000, near Sterling, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $750,000 in damage near Sterling, Colorado on July 5, 2000.

F3 Tornado on May 28, 2001, near Colorado Springs, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $8 million in damage near Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 28, 2001.

F3 Tornado on March 28, 2007 near Granada, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused two deaths, nine injuries, and $4000 in damage near Granada, Colorado on March 28, 2007.

F3 Tornado on May 22, 2008, near Greeley, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused one death, 78 injuries, and $147 million in damage near Greeley, Colorado on May 22, 2008.

F3 Tornado on June 7, 2012, in Elbert County, Colorado

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This F-3 tornado caused $50,000 in damage in Elbert County, Colorado on June 7, 2012.

F4 Tornado on June 7, 2012, in Elbert County, Colorado

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This F-4 tornado caused $500,000 in damage in Baca County, Colorado on May 18, 1997.

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