It’s that time of year! Spotty storms possible on Wednesday

Some storms could be strong on the Southeast Plains
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 11:28 AM MDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 11:58 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The end of April is fast approaching and that means we’re heading into storm season across southern Colorado. May through June usually gives us an increase in thunderstorm activity-- this is as return flow from the Gulf of Mexico draws moisture into our state. We’ll get our first real taste of this on Wednesday as gulf moisture looks to open up, spreading north across Texas and into southeastern Colorado.

On the map above, you can see the moist air, indicated in the green which is being pulled northward through Texas... The deep, dark green over the Gulf of Mexico indicates extremely moist air. As it’s pulled further and further away from the Gulf, it becomes lighter in color indicating the air drying out as it moves over land. The dark browns and greys over Colorado and the rest of the west are indicative of the very dry air we’re currently dealing with.

It will be the clash of that dry air pushing against that moist flow which will spark off those showers and storms Wednesday.

Below you’ll see a look at how our Hour By Hour forecast model is behaving for tomorrow. Spotty showers possible in the afternoon in the Pikes Peak Region -- but you’ll notice the lighter greens. That’s indicating these storms fighting very dry air near the ground (our dry winter and spring is playing a key role for that dry air currently in place). So what might happen for Colorado Springs tomorrow is that we’ll see a bunch of dark and stormy looking clouds pop off the mountains, maybe even some rain streaks (virga) but nothing actually hitting the ground.

Usually when that happens, we’ll see that rain aloft dry out into a gusty wind that hits the surface instead.

Expect a breezy afternoon -- best chance to actually get rain to the ground would be up near the Monument/Palmer Divide area.

The best shot at strong thunderstorms (with rain that actually reaches the ground) will be over the southeast side of the state. Notice the darker greens, yellows and oranges... There will be more moisture for these storms to feed off of down by La Junta, Lamar and Springfield -- gusty winds, small hail and frequent lightning could be possible in those areas.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the far southeast plains in a low (level 1 out of 5) risk for severe storms tomorrow. Winds of 50+ mph, some small hail and lightning will be the main threat.

Here’s another look at those threats for the far SE plains.

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