For the first time in a while, we have severe storms in the forecast. I just wanted to give a quick update before the storms start popping.

First off, go ahead and put your car in the garage. Hail is a big factor in today’s storms. The next big threat is damaging winds up to 70 mph and then we have a smaller, but present threat for a few tornadoes as well.

Pretty much the entire eastern half of Colorado has a threat for strong to severe storms. We have a cold front that is moving through and that is what is sparking the atmosphere to react like this. We’ve also been extremely warm lately and that heat energy needs to be released.

TIMING

Here’s a quick snapshot of this afternoon.

The HRRR is a short range model many rely on to show what the forecast will be with remarkable accuracy. This model only goes out 24 hours which is different from the NAM (36-48 hours) and the EURO and GFS (1 to 2 weeks)

I digress. While this shows where possible storms may fire with great accuracy – it’s not always perfect. This is showing storms firing and impacting the Palmer Divide which is also what forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center seem to think as well.

The biggest threat of large hail appears to be near Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Roxborough, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Parker, Monument and Kiowa where hail could be tennis ball size! Areas outside of the hatched region could see hail up to golf ball size. Either way, they are both large enough to cause damage.

Threat of large hail

If the storms wiggle 10-20 miles north, that will mean that some very big storms could impact the metro area. Regardless if a cell tracks over us or not, some heavy rain with a lot of lightning is looking likely.

The first rounds of storms will be the most severe. Then we will see showers and thunderstorms continue into the evening – though, the storms later in the day will be far less severe than those in the early afternoon.

Be safe out there today!

~ Rain or Shine
I’m Andy Stein

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