(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — Thunderstorms are not uncommon in late May over eastern Colorado – and the last two days of the month in 2023 are no exception.
Storms are most likely east of Highway 71 on Tuesday afternoon. What will start as individual cells will grow pretty rapidly into a line of wind-producing thunderstorms as they head toward Kansas. If the storms grow fast enough before they “line out,” they may produce some hail nearly 1″ in diameter, but as they grow into a line straight-line wind will become the main severe weather threat. Gusts to 65mph may occur in eastern Colorado, but 75mph gusts are likely into Kansas.
Air over the mountains is very dry on Tuesday so we really don’t expect storms over the high country. The western edge of available energy for storms will be along the Front Range, so an isolated storm is possible from Denver to Trinidad, but most areas should stay dry.
Storms will mainly develop east of the Interstate after 3:30 p.m. and should be in Kansas by 8 p.m. in most cases.
The energy for thunderstorms is farther west on Wednesday and combined with a wave approaching from the southwest in the middle levels of the atmosphere we expect storms for more areas.
We expect several rounds of storms to come up from the southwest on Wednesday and some of them will last well into the evening. With the strengthening flow, the storms will move northeast at about 25 or 30 mph.
With more low-level moisture over the area on Wednesday the threat for severe weather is present from the foothills eastward. While severe storms are more likely east of the Interstate, they’ll be possible from the foothills eastward. Large hail to 1.5″ in diameter is the biggest threat on Wednesday, but very heavy rain should be expected with the stronger cells, too.