The Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook includes the threat of significant hail (area with the white hatching) from the Pikes Peak Region northward.

(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — Our first severe weather episode of the year arrives Wednesday afternoon as an upper-level storm and strong jet streak arrive from the southwest combined with a noticeable increase in low-level moisture.

The dewpoint is an actual measure of moisture in the atmosphere, compared to relative humidity which is highly impacted by the temperature. With dewpoint, the higher the number the more moisture in the atmosphere. The dewpoint at 6 am Tuesday morning shown above indicates where the low-level moisture is and where some very dry desert air is.

One of the questions we still have and will be watching through the day is how much of the drier air mixes down the hills and drops the dewpoints. Two computer model forecasts below – use the slider to compare the two – have very different ideas for later today.

Due to the path of the approaching upper-level storm, the dewpoints are more likely than not to remain high up against the hills and this should keep the threat of severe storms in place. The certainty of storms is greatest over the eastern plains where we are most confident that the moisture will stay in place. It is possible that the coverage of storms is a little lower over the heart of the viewing area compared to the far eastern plains. Use the slider below to investigate the severe weather risks and storm movement between these two areas.

The threat of rain and storms, even some mountain snow continues overnight – and even into Thursday. The heaviest precipitation is expected from the Pikes Peak Region into northeast Colorado through Thursday.