Numerous Severe Storms Hit Southern Colorado, Friday, June 11th

A classic weather set up during Friday afternoon and evening caused several supercell (rotating) thunderstorms to develop over southern Colorado. 

The "hot spots" centered across northern El Paso County and from Otero to Bent to Kiowa Counties.

Shortly after 5 p.m., and well after a Tornado Warning was issued by the National Weather Service in Pueblo, a classic looking supercell storm with a hook echo (hook seen near the bottom-center of the Tornado Warning box) eventually generated what may have been a brief tornado.  Large hail was reported with the storm (as indicated by the blue pins) around ping pong ball size in some cases.

Weather Spotters did not confirm seeing a tornado, but one storm chaser, who has yet to call back NWS Pueblo, claimed he has video of a brief tornado north of US Highway 24 and west of Ramah.  Nevertheless this photo, taken by a citizen, shows a low hanging cloud.  No information on whether this was rapidly rotating, or if evidence was seen of contact with the ground was received.  No reports have been received from El Paso County Sheriff or others of any tornado damage.

photo relayed to NWS Pueblo by KRDO meteorologist Matt Meister

 Another couple of severe storms moved across northern Otero County, and then Bent and Kiowa Counties, producing very large hail.  La Junta and Cheraw were especially hard hit.  Below is a radar image and Severe Thunderstorm Warning box...when one storm was pummelling La Junta and Cheraw


Numerous reports of golfball to baseball size hail were received, breaking car windows and doing significant damage to anything exposed.  Below is a photo of the golfball size hail in La Junta...



photo courtesy Aaron Eveatt

Looking at the radar image above, you can see that severe storms moved over the same areas...which prompted a Flash Flood Warning to be issued.  Low areas were flooding, including this intersection in La Junta...

photo courtesy Aaron Eveatt

Thereafter...the storms continued to move across extreme northern Bent County, through the Las Animas area...and through Kiowa County...all the while producing golfball size hail...and one confirmed funnel cloud, before passing into Kansas.

Last updated 8:25 a.m., Saturday, June 12th

Tom Magnuson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Pueblo

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