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Wild Weather: Colorado Experiences Tornados, Hail, Lightning, Flooding Rain, And Heavy Snow

DENVER (CBS4) - A vigorous storm system moving across Colorado will continue to bring rain and snow to the state on Wednesday after causing the first severe weather of the year on Tuesday.

There were five reports of tornados on the Eastern Plains late Wednesday and more than a dozen reports of large hail. All the tornadoes were "landspouts" and no significant damage or injuries were were reported.

(source: CBS)

After the initial surge of severe weather, the weather story turned to rain and snow which fell across the mountains, foothills, and the urban corridor through Wednesday morning.

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, Denver had officially received nearly 1 inch of rain. That brings total liquid precipitation in Denver this year to 6.82 inches which is 3.55 inches above normal. So while other parts of Colorado (mainly the Western Slope) continues to experience exceptional drought, the Denver metro has been much wetter than normal in recent months.

(source: CBS)

Meanwhile, many areas on the northeast plains of Colorado received far more rain than the metro area. Haxtun, Colorado which is 30 miles east of Sterling measured more than 4 inches of rain. There were reports of major street flooding in that area. The good news is it could be enough rain to finally wipe out what's left of moderate drought that region of the state.

Rain Totals
(source: CBS)

In terms of snow in the high country, the highest totals were reported in the northern foothills with Jamestown reporting over a foot of heavy, wet snow. There was 16 reported at the top of Longs Peak.

(source: CBS)

The ski areas that remain open in the state also reported fresh snow with Breckenridge receiving 6 inches, Winter Park reporting 5 inches, and Arapahoe Basin getting 4 inches. The Loveland Ski Area reported 3 inches.

Snow in Evergreen, Colorado Wednesday morning (source: Mary O'Rourke)

Looking ahead, the rain and snow will end during the day on Wednesday. Denver and most of the Front Range should see enough clearing for at least partial sunshine late in the day. Skies will then clear Wednesday night and full sunshine is expected statewide for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

There will also be a significant warming trend from Thursday through Saturday. A chance for showers and thunderstorms returns Sunday before a good chance for rain on Monday.

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