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Blog: Thursday severe weather brings threats for hail and tornadoes

Posted at 11:29 AM, Jul 20, 2023

Severe weather is anticipated in Colorado on Thursday, July 20th. Let's dive into the details.

This blog will be updated with the latest information you need to know throughout the evening.

6:00 PM - reports coming in of storm damage on Pikes Peak

A possible tornado happened on Pikes Peak around 2 pm today. Widespread tree damage was seen in photos shortly after the storm.

Pikes Peak widespread tree damage Brad Carroll
Pikes Peak widespread tree damage after storm

4:30 PM - flooding reported near Sifred Blvd.

Colorado Springs Fire Department has reported flooding near Sifred Blvd. See the attached video for more information.

4:00 PM - multiple power outages are affecting thousands in Colorado Springs

Outages have been reported in the following locations:

  • Austin Bluffs Pkwy. and N. Union Blvd.
  • Mark Dabling Blvd. and Garden of the Gods Rd.
  • I-25 and Garden of the Gods Rd.
  • Patty Jewitt Resevoir
Power outages in Colorado Springs
Multiple power outages have been reported in Colorado Springs, according to Colorado Springs Utilities.

As of 4:45 p.m. the outage near Austin Bluffs Pkwy. and N. Union Blvd. has been restored. As of 5:45 p.m. majority of the outages have been restored. At this time, it is unclear what caused the outages.

To keep up to date with all power outages in Colorado Springs, visit the Colorado Springs Utilities Website.

According to Colorado Springs Fire Department, several vehicles are currently trapped after attempting to drive through flood waters. Affected locations include the following:

  • Powers and Barnes
  • Powers and Omaha
Barnes & Powers Washout

  • N. Academy Blvd. and Half Turn Rd., east of Palmer Park
Water Rescue at Half Turn Rd. & N. Academy Blvd.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department is on scene of a water rescue at Half Turn Rd. & N. Academy Blvd.

3:00 PM - first round of thunderstorms move through Colorado Springs

This photo shared with News5 from Aly Evans shows the hail size near I-25 and Fillmore

1:30 PM - Severe thunderstorm watch issued

Most of eastern Colorado is now under a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 pm.

Forecast Timing:

Thunderstorms will begin to pop up west of I-25 in the higher terrain and the Palmer Divide (Monument Hill to Castle Rock) around the lunch hour between about 11 am to 1 pm.

Storms will then move ESE through the afternoon impacting I-25 and the eastern plains. There will likely be several rounds of thunderstorms in the region. The storm threat decreases for the I-25 corridor by 8-9 pm. The plains east of the interstate will see the severe weather threat diminish after sunset, but heavy rain and flood threats remain through 2 am.

Flood Threat:

A FLOOD WATCH is in place for the SE plains of Colorado from 2 pm until 2 am for Crowley, Kiowa, eastern Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, Bent, and Baca counties.

Thunderstorms have the potential to bring 1-3 inches of rainfall and can create flash flooding and creek/river flooding. Do not drive through a flooded road!

Hail Threat:

Storms have the potential for large hail today. The widespread risk includes I-25 and the eastern plains for at least 1-inch hail stones, see the risk outlook below.

But, a more significant hail risk is in place for the areas shaded in purple below, where hail stones may be large than 2 inches in diameter. This threat will be for the majority of the I-25 corridor from Cheyenne, WY through Pueblo. This threat extends east into HWY 50, I-70, and I-76.

Tornado Threat:

There is a risk of tornadoes today, particularly in the brown-shaded region, between I-70 and HWY 50. This tornado threat may trump the severe weather risk, so be on the lookout for a possible tornado watch this afternoon over a severe thunderstorm watch.

Wind Threat:

Strong outflow winds in excess of 70 mph are possible with thunderstorms today, particularly as they combine into larger lines of storms into the eastern plains tonight.

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