DENVER (CBS4) – A handful of strong to severe thunderstorms will develop on the far Eastern Plains Thursday afternoon. The storms will be at least 75 miles east of the metro area so dry weather is expected for Denver and the Front Range through at least Friday morning.
The Thursday storms will impact the far plains mainly between 3pm and 6pm and will be capable of producing hail up to the size of golf balls and wind gusts up to 60 mph in communities such as Sterling, Julesburg, Holyoke, Wray, Akron, Yuma, and Burlington.
For the Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins areas, the only weather issues on Thursday will be heat and subsequently poor air quality. High temperatures in the metro area will be 5-10 degrees hotter than Wednesday meaning lower to mid 90s for most neighborhoods.
The heat will contribute to a high concentration of ground level ozone and therefore another Ozone Action Day has been declared for Denver and the Front Range through at least 4 p.m. Thursday. Everyone is asked to help care for our summer air by mowing lawns and visiting gas stations after 5 pm.
The weather will change slightly on Friday thanks to increasing moisture over the Front Range. There is a small chance for late day non-severe thunderstorms in the metro area on Friday. Then a much better chance for showers and storms arrives for the Fourth of July. For the metro area, storm chances should reach at least 50% in the afternoon and evening on Saturday.
And although any severe weather (large hail, damaging wind, tornadoes) should stay away from the urban corridor, the storms on Saturday will be capable of producing very heavy rain while moving quite slowly. Therefore there is a threat for minor flooding including on streets late Saturday. Farther east, once again there could be a few severe storms.
In term of the forecast for fireworks, the few large displays scheduled to go on this year should be able to proceed despite a small chance for thunderstorms continuing through the evening on Saturday. Most storms will end with sunset (8:30pm) and temperatures will be in the 70s at fireworks time.
Looking farther ahead, plan on a 40% chance for afternoon and/or evening thunderstorms on Sunday followed by a hot first full week to July.