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Severe weather moves into Colorado

A Flash Flood Warning for the Cameron Peak Burn Scar area was issued as severe storms moved through northeast Colorado.
Credit: Naomi Tashiro
Credit: Naomi Tashiro

DENVER — Severe weather moved through Colorado again Saturday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop for thunderstorms at Denver International Airport (DIA) that expired by 8:30 p.m.

As of 7 p.m. Saturday, 62 flights have been canceled and 471 have been delayed, according to FlightAware.

A Flash Flood Warning for the Cameron Peak burn scar area expired at 5:15 p.m.

"Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through some canyons in the Cameron Peak Burn scar," Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority said in the warning. "Larimer County  "The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials."

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for parts of northeast Colorado until 9 p.m. Wind gusts of up to 40 miles-per-hour and half-inch hail are possible.

At 4 p.m., NWS Boulder said severe storms were moving across Larimer and Weld counties. Ping pong-ball sized hail, gusty winds, heavy rain, lightning and possible landspout tornados were all possible.

The National Weather Service in Boulder issued a Special Weather Statement for a potential landspout east of DIA, including Keenesburg, Bennett and Hudson. It expired at 3 p.m.

Another Special Weather Statement covering parts of the eastern metro area including Aurora, Centennial and Denver International Airport expired at 4 p.m.

A third Special Weather Statement was also issued for parts of Weld and Larimer counties for a possible landspout including Greeley, Windsor and Johnstown that expired at 4:15 p.m.

This pattern isn't going away anytime soon. Looking ahead through the weekend and into next week, there are chances for late storms each afternoon and evening as temperatures remain at, or slightly above, normal for this time of year.

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What is Severe Weather?

According to the National Weather Service, there are five specific types of weather that can qualify as "severe." They are tornadoes, floods, lightning, hail and wind.

RELATED: What is severe weather?

A thunderstorm is considered severe when winds reach at least 58 mph and/or contains hail at least 1" in diameter. When these conditions are met, the NWS will issue a severe thunderstorm warning.

RELATED: How is hail formed?

Lightning and heavy rain are not included, but often accompany severe thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service will issue a flash flood warning when the flooding is already occurring or imminent. A flash flood watch means that conditions are favorable for a flash flood and those in the area should keep a close watch.

A tornado watch is issued by the NWS when they determine that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes. They usually last for a long time, cover a large area and begin well before any tornadoes or other severe weather begin. 

A tornado warning is issued if a tornado is indicated by radar or reported by weather spotters. They are generally for a much smaller area and only last for about 30 minutes. If a tornado warning is issued in your area, you should seek shelter immediately.

RELATED: What to do in a tornado warning

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