State re­mains alert for storms, tor­na­does

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION -

Colorado is in for a few more days of vi­o­lent storms and un­sta­ble weather, fore­cast­ers said Satur­day. But the good news is that the storms are mov­ing too quickly to cause wide­spread flood­ing.

The state was braced for at least two more nights of wal­lop­ing rain, strong winds and iso­lated tor­na­does.

A third night of se­vere storms ripped across Colorado late Fri­day, down­ing tree branches and leav­ing about 12,000 in the Den­ver metro area with­out power.

At least six tor­na­does were spot­ted Fri­day af­ter­noon and evening in south­ern and eastern Colorado, Na­tional Weather Ser­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gist Chad Gimmes­tad said. All were in ru­ral ar­eas, and caused lit­tle dam­age and no in­juries, he said.

The nasty weather was ex­pected to ex­tend into Kansas, Ne­braska and Iowa on Satur­day and Sun­day. The weather ser­vice says the high­est po­ten­tial for se­vere storms is in eastern Ne­braska and west­ern Iowa.

In Colorado, the storms were likely to de­crease in in­ten­sity Satur­day and Sun­day, ta­per­ing off early next week, Gimmes­tad said.

“There’s still a threat of se­vere storms and flood­ing through the week­end, but not as much of a threat,” he said.

The storms have been mov­ing too quickly to cause more than iso­lated flood­ing, he said.

“We’ve had re­ports of places get­ting half an inch of rain in half an hour, and that’s about as much as the storm drains can han­dle, but then the rain moves on,” Gimmes­tad said.

No se­ri­ous in­juries have been re­ported.

The storms that be­gan overnight Thurs­day were the re­sult of the El Niño phe­nom­e­non in the Pa­cific Ocean, an up­per-level jet stream and a low-pres­sure sys­tem parked over South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. The fac­tors have com­bined to de­liver mois­ture from the Gulf of Mex­ico into Colorado and south­ern Wy­oming.

Else­where, heavy rain­fall caused some flash flood­ing in eastern Mon­tana on Satur­day morn­ing.

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