Severe storms possible Friday in southern Colorado


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It takes three ingredients for thunderstorms to form. If you can add a fourth ingredient of wind moving at different directions and speeds in different levels of the atmosphere in the right combination with the other ingredients, storms can grow and produce severe weather. We’ve got just enough at the right combination today to expect a few severe storms.

As storms move east of the mountains and cross the I-25 corridor, they’ll move into an environment more favorable for storm organization. One or two may approach severe levels, becoming capable of producing hail near one inch in diameter.
Thunderstorms will quickly develop along the foothills early Friday afternoon between 11 am and 2 pm.

Most storms will move to the ENE at about 25mph. Any storms moving to the SE will be stronger and most likely to produce severe weather. As a reminder, here are the specific requirements of thunderstorm impacts to be classified as severe:

  • Hail one inch in diameter or larger
  • Wind gusts 58 mph or greater
  • A funnel cloud or tornado

Storms will continue eastward across the eastern plains through the evening and may take until midnight or later before they move into Kansas or wind down.

Keep in mind that any storm is dangerous due to lightning. If you’re close enough to a storm to hear the thunder, you’re close enough that you could be struck by lightning and you should head indoors. Simply having heavy rain, even if it is enough to cause flash flooding, does not make a storm “severe.”

Storms will strengthen as the move over the Interstate and over the eastern plains from the mid-afternoon through the evening. Storms will mainly move to the east at about 25 mph.

A WATCH means pay attention

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH or TORNADO WATCH means that conditions are favorable for the development of storms capable of producing severe weather over the next several hours. You should be weather aware and ready to take precautions.

A WARNING means take action now!

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING or TORNADO WARNING means that severe weather (see criteria above) is occurring now or is imminent. Take immediate precautions to protect your life and property.

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