Hailstorm Photo Credit: CristiNistor (iStock).

Photo Credit: CristiNistor (iStock).

A wild weather day is in store for the state of Colorado on Tuesday with strong winds, heavy snow, and big hail in the forecast.

A storm system with the capability of producing winds up to 75 mph is predicted to hit the northeast plains of Colorado, mainly over the Palmer Divide, on Tuesday according to the National weather service in Boulder (NSW).

Weather Map

Photo courtesy: NWS Boulder

Scattered rain and snow showers are also expected to pick up in the mountains through Tuesday afternoon, with all precipitation becoming snow by Tuesday night. Some mapping from the National Weather Service shows snowfall in the range of 12 to 18 inches on some northern and southwestern peaks.

Showers and thunderstorms will also spread over the Northeast plains on Tuesday afternoon with some storms capable of producing 70 MPH wind gusts and hail with a 2-inch diameter, which is comparable to the size of a hen egg.

The service expects the system to move into Wyoming, but strong westerly winds over the mountains and Northern Front Range foothills may produce 75 mph gusts after midnight. 

NWS classifies winds with sustained speeds over 58 mph or frequent wind gusts greater than 58 as an "extreme" wind threat level. 

At this level, winds are very strong and potentially damaging. It's also worth noting that wind speeds in the range of 74 to 95 miles per hour are similar to a category one hurricane.

As wintery weather starts to pick up in Colorado, it is important to stay up-to-date on weather forecasts in your area. Check the National Weather Service website for information on weather alerts and OpenSnow.com for ski country forecasts.

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