SPM 07-12-2019: Widespread Afternoon Thunderstorms over the High Country and Southeast Plains

Issue date: Friday, July 12, 2019
Issue Time: 9:50AM MDT


Midlevel moisture returned to the state yesterday as moisture was advected in on the backside of the high pressure system centered over the area.  A midlevel vorticity maximum formed a surface low in south-central Colorado yesterday around 1PM, sparking thunderstorms over the high country and Southeast Plains.  Weak northwesterly flow pushed the storms off of the Southeast Mountains and over the surrounding plains early last night.  Outflow boundaries from two storms combined over the Pueblo area to create a short-lived MCS that traveled to the southeast.  Weak upper level dynamics prevented the MCS from traveling to the southeast border, but moderate to heavy rainfall was reported throughout the Southeast Plains.  Radar derived rainfall up to 2 inches to the north of Avondale.  Surface reports from CoCoRaHS measured 0.48 inches near La Junta in Otero County, and 0.84 inches near Villegreen in Las Animas County.

Upslope flow along the Front Range was aided by the passage of a shortwave through Wyoming last night, producing rain over the foothills and Urban Corridor around sunset.  A RAWS surface observation near Redfeather Lakes in Larimer County reported 0.72 inches of rain over a two hour period around 6PM.  Other reports throughout the high country show marginal accumulations up to 0.1 inches.

For a look at precipitation in your area, please check out our State Precipitation Map below.

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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 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation contain bias corrections that are not disaggregated into the hourly estimates, so there will likely be some differences. The accumulation ending time is 7AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are vulnerable fire burn areas (post 2012), which are updated throughout the season to include new, vulnerable burn areas. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.