Ping pong ball-size hail predicted to hit Colorado, according to National Weather Service

Roughly ping pong ball-size hail stones. Photo Credit: Wetterfotografie (iStock).

Strong storms could bring winds gusting up to 70 mph and hail the size of walnuts and ping pong balls to parts of central, east-central, south-central, and southeast Colorado on Friday afternoon and evening. Snow could also fall in some parts of the state.

Thunderstorms will develop Friday afternoon and evening throughout many areas, with few severe storms over the far southeast plains possibly extending into the late evening. The main severe risks will be wind gusts around 70 mph and hail up to 1.5 inches in diameter.

“Other storm risks include cloud to ground lightning and gusty outflow winds,” according to a hazardous weather outlook issued by the National Weather Service.

Counties impacted by the storms include Lake, Chaffee, Saguache, Fremont, Teller, El Paso, Las Animas, Bent, Kiowa, Prowers, Baca, and Otero.

Snow showers are expected this afternoon in the high country. Currently, the Pikes Peak Highway is only open to mile 16 due to heavy fog and limited visibility. Shuttles will not be running unless the highway reopens to the 14,115-foot summit.

Other high country areas impacted include Western Mosquito Range, Sawatch Mountains, La Garita Mountains, west and east of Continental Divide, San Juan Mountains, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Wet Mountains, and San Luis Valley.

During these storms, heavy rain could also lead to flash flooding over the Decker, Hayden Pass, Junkins, and Spring burn scars. There’s also a risk of urban flash flooding possible from mid to late afternoon from Canon City to Pueblo West and into Pueblo. Flash flooding is a serious concern and can occur on a clear day due to rainfall happening elsewhere and moving downstream.

Chances for showers will return on Sunday evening and continue through all of next week. Temperatures will be running near seasonal normals through Wednesday, with an uptick in temperatures on Thursday.

Editor’s Note: All weather statements are subject to change. Mountain weather can change rapidly. If you have plans outdoors this weekend, be sure to double check the forecast before heading out. 

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