By Dave Aguilera

DENVER(CBS)- Perfect conditions came together Sunday afternoon for severe storms producing large, damaging hail and tornadoes across the eastern plains.

Hudson Tornado 1 (credit Alli Barney)

As many as seven tornadoes developed in large thunderstorms that blew up quickly Sunday afternoon.

In addition to the tornadoes, many of these storms pounded areas with quarter to tennis ball size hail!

Commerce City Hail 1 (credit Andrew Turner)

Springfield (credit: Morgan Turpin)

Huge Hail Hits Colorado During Memorial Day Weekend

Here are a few other reports across the plains.

Southeastern Colorado was the first to see the tornadoes and hail on Sunday.

The severe storms developed with a one, two , three punch of higher dew points, a strong jet stream and a push from a west coast low that will bring in rain and snow for Memorial Day.

The first ingredient was added moisture that came in from Kansas as morning fog across the eastern plains. Here is how it looked on the satellite imagery Sunday morning.

This raised dew point temperatures into the 50s and low 60s across the region. When high temperatures are forecast to be in the 70s and the dew point is greater than 55 the air is fairly unstable. When the forecast temperature is in the 80s+ the air is very buoyant or unstable if the dew point is greater than 55.

Then, what we call an amplified pattern of pressure with a huge ridge off the west coast , a deep trough over the western states and a huge, record hot High pressure ridge over the southeast all helped to send a southwest jet stream across the state. Helping to lift storms even higher.

That combined with a strong low pressure area diving into California all aided in lifting Colorado’s storms to severe levels.

There are thunderstorms in the forecast for Memorial Day but, they are not expected to be quite as strong. The only area that may see a few hail and strong wind producers is in the northeastern corner of the state. From just north of Fort Collins east to Sterling on into Nebraska.

Dave Aguilera


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