SPM 05-16-2018: Scattered Thunderstorms Rumbled, Bringing Periods of Heavy Rain and Hail

Issue Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
Issue Time: 9:30 AM MDT


The upper-level low finally began to break down and ejected a shortwave disturbance that passed overhead yesterday. This disturbance worked in concert with daytime heating and orographic support to drive the development of isolated-to-scattered thunderstorms along/east of the Front Range/Southeast Mountains and over the plains. The bulk of activity occurred during the afternoon/evening hours yesterday, but a few storms were able to keep chugging along into the early morning hours. Storms over the lower elevations of the Urban Corridor (south of Douglas County) and Southeast Plains were the most efficient rainfall producers thanks to having access to deeper moisture than those to the north. The largest hail report of the day came from 1 mile SW of Atwood (Logan County) where 1.75 inch diameter hail was observed by a trained spotter. According to CoCoRaHS observers, the big winners for rainfall are as follows:

El Paso County: 1.33 inches
Otero County: 1.21 inches
Cheyenne County: 0.85 inches
Prowers County: 0.72 inches

Flash flooding was not reported yesterday. For a look at precipitation estimates in your area, please see our State Precipitation Map below.

Click Here For Map Overview

The map below shows radar-estimated, rainfall gage-adjusted Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) across Colorado. The map is updated daily during the operational season (May 1 – Sep 30) by 11AM. The following six layers are currently available: 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation, as well as maximum 1-hour, 2-hour and 6-hour precipitation over the past 24 hour period (to estimate where flash flooding may have occurred). The accumulation ending time is 6AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are fire burn areas since 2012. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.

Note: We have identified a possible underestimation in QPE over the southwest part of the state. We are working to on this issue, and will provide an update as soon as possible.