Baca County microburst kills man

VILAS, Colo. - An elderly Baca County man died when his mobile home was hit by near 110 mph winds early Wednesday morning.

The Baca County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as 84-year-old Donald Falconburg.  His home about 3/4 of mile east of Vilas, Colorado.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo said a storm damage assessment determined that the winds came from a microburst creating "a very compact footprint of damage." 

The NWS said the microburst ripped the manufactured home from its tie downs and destroyed it. 

"The frame of the manufactured home hit and was lofted over several rows of hay rolls, and came to rest around 250 feet from its original position.  The debris field radiated out in a fan shape, consistent with microburst damage," the NWS stated.

Two homes south and north of the mobile home sustained no wind damage.

The sheriff's office was notified at about 6:30 a.m. by a neighbor who reported Falconburg's home was leveled.

The victim's mobile home can be seen in this satellite image.

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What is a microburst?  

A microburst is a downdraft (sinking air) in a thunderstorm that is less than 2.5 miles in scale.  Some microbursts can pose a threat to life and property, but all microbursts pose a significant threat to aviation.  Although microbursts are not as widely recognized as tornadoes, they can cause comparable, and in some cases, worse damage than some tornadoes produce.  In fact, wind speeds as high as 150 mph are possible in extreme microburst cases.

-- Source: National Weather Service

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