GRAND LAKE, Colo. — A pair of pontoon boats were tossed into the air when a microburst struck Grand Lake Sunday evening.
Witnesses said the boats were picked up from the microburst "like tops," spun around and then came back down landing on other boats in the lake and near a house, according to Jason Clay with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).
Both of the boats were unoccupied at the time of the incident and Clay said no injuries were reported.
A family had gotten off one of the pontoon boats about five minutes before the incident happened, said Clay.
> Video above: Cory Reppenhagen explains how a microburst ripped through the Limon Airport in August of 2020.
Microbursts have damaging winds that extend two and half miles or less and can be as high as 168 mph and last five to 15 minutes, according to the National Weather Service (NWS)
It's a type of downburst, a strong, downward-moving current of air known as a downdraft that leads to damaging winds on or near the ground, according to the NWS. Microburst and macroburst describe the downburst’s size.
Macrobursts have damaging winds that extend more than two and half miles.
Downbursts are formed when cold air falls from the middle and upper sections of a thunderstorm at speeds of less than 20 mph. As this cold air hits the earth, it rolls much the same way that water does as a boat moves through it. This rolling compresses air and increases wind speed.
Downbursts are often mistaken for tornadoes, but occur much more frequently than tornadoes do. For every tornado there are about 10 downburst damage reports, National Weather Service said.
The CPW Marine Evidence Recovery Team, Grand County Sheriff and Grand County Fire all responded to the call.
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