ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A brief tornado kicked up a lot of dust and dirt on the southeast side of the Denver metro area late Friday afternoon.

The preliminary report came in to the National Weather Service office in Boulder at 3:35 p.m. A trained spotter reported the short lived tornado five miles east-southeast of Highlands Ranch.

Many of our viewers took pictures of a rotating column of air near the Centennial Airport about half an hour later.

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A tornado warning was issued for parts of Arapahoe County until 4:45 p.m. on Friday. There are no reports of damage. 

A tornado is defined by the National Weather Service as "a violently rotating column of air touching the ground, usually attached to the base of a thunderstorm." 

Many of the pictures we saw clearly show the rotating column of air, however it's hard to tell if that column of air attaches to the cloud base.  

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Landspouts and dust devils are tornadoes that rotate from the ground up, while tornadoes associated with thunderstorms rotate from the cloud base down to the ground. Since we cannot see the cloud base in a lot of these pictures, it is difficult to tell what type of tornado this is.   

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