Colorado storms to bring severe hail, ‘deadly lightning,’ and gusty winds this week

Lightning strikes at sunset. Photo Credit: mdesigner125 (iStock)

Colorado could be hit with “deadly lightning,” severe hail up to half dollar to ping pong ball-size, and damaging winds as wild weather rolls through parts of the state for the second week in a row.

Strong to severe thunderstorms expected to rumble across the eastern plains on Monday afternoon and early evening could bring ping pong ball-sized hail and winds gusting up to 60 mph. Isolated storms are also possible over the Continental Divide and in the San Luis Valley.

“Storms will be capable of light to moderate showers, deadly lightning, and gusty winds,” according to a hazardous weather outlook issued by the National Weather Service.

Counties that may see impacts from the storms include Lake, Chaffee, Saguache, Fremont, Teller, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, Pueblo, Bent, Las Animas, Prowers, El Paso, Grand, Jackson, Larimer, Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Summit, Park, Jefferson, Douglas, Adams, Denver, Weld, Douglas, Arapahoe, Elbert, Logan, Washington, Sedgwick, Phillips, and Lincoln.

High country impacts include the Mosquito Range, Sawatch Mountains, Continental Divide, La Garita Mountains, Upper Rio Grande Valley, San Juan Mountains, San Luis Valley, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Wet Mountains, Pikes Peak, and the Upper Huerfano River Basin.

The lack of rainfall combined with lightning and gusty outflow winds could also lead to fire starts, especially across the eastern San Juan and La Garita Mountains.

More of these storms are expected to develop Tuesday through the southeast mountains and eastern plains. There is a risk for a few storms over the plains to become strong to severe, mainly in the afternoon and early evening. 60 mph winds and hail up to the size of half dollars are the main threats. There’s also a chance of flash flooding to occur on burn scar areas.

You’ll want to keep your raincoats handy, as this week’s mountain forecast is also calling for storms with chances from Wednesday into Saturday. If you’re entering the outdoor area, be aware of lightning risks. Monitor the weather closely and know what to do if an unexpected storm suddenly creeps up.

Editor’s Note: All weather statements are subject to change. Planning on hiking or camping in the mountains this week? If so, always check the forecast before you head out and be prepared for rapidly changing conditions. 

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