Colorado weather: Afternoon storms, hail possible for Friday

Heavy rains, gusty winds and hail could all be possible along the Front Range and out on to the eastern plains.

DENVER — Friday could turn out to be much like Thursday, with a sunny start giving way to afternoon and afternoon clouds and storms, a few possibly severe.

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, much of the Front Range from Castle Rock to the Wyoming state line is under a slight risk of severe weather on Friday afternoon.

There’s a possibility of hail up to golf ball size and winds up to 70 mph. That includes Denver, Aurora, Longmont, Fort Collins, Greeley and much of the eastern plains.

There’s a marginal risk of severe weather for areas along the foothills, south of Castle Rock and along the Kansas state line. That includes Boulder, Estes Park and Colorado Springs.

See the latest Colorado weather alerts.

Along the Interstate 25 corridor, the main window for severe storms will be between 2 and 6 p.m., the National Weather Service said. The timing for the plains will be slightly later.

Locally heavy rainfall could pose a limited threat of flash flooding in burn scar areas, the weather service said.

Looking ahead to the weekend and into next week our weather pattern will continue much the same. Chances for late storms each afternoon and evening as temperatures remain at, or slightly above, normal for this time of year.

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What is Severe Weather?

According to the National Weather Service, there are five specific types of weather that can qualify as “severe.” They are tornadoes, floods, lightning, hail and wind.

RELATED: What is severe weather?

A thunderstorm is considered severe when winds reach at least 58 mph and/or contains hail at least 1″ in diameter. When these conditions are met, the NWS will issue a severe thunderstorm warning.

RELATED: How is hail formed?

Lightning and heavy rain are not included, but often accompany severe thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service will issue a flash flood warning when the flooding is already occurring or imminent. A flash flood watch means that conditions are favorable for a flash flood and those in the area should keep a close watch.

A tornado watch is issued by the NWS when they determine that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes. They usually last for a long time, cover a large area and begin well before any tornadoes or other severe weather begin. 

A tornado warning is issued if a tornado is indicated by radar or reported by weather spotters. They are generally for a much smaller area and only last for about 30 minutes. If a tornado warning is issued in your area, you should seek shelter immediately.

RELATED: What to do in a tornado warning

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