A dynamic spring storm is bringing snow to the mountains and severe weather to the plains.
DENVER — A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for parts of Colorado including Greeley, Roxborough Park, Firestone and all the northeastern corner of the state until 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
The storm has the potential to bring isolated wind gusts up to 70 mph and scattered hail.
A few tornadoes are also possible, according to the National Weather Service.
> Click here for the latest watches and warnings from the National Weather Service.
According to the NWS, the storm is currently moving from the south toward the north and producing mostly heavy rain and a lot of small hail.
People living in Weld County and east of Parker and Aurora reported seeing heavy rain and accumulating small hail around noon on Tuesday.
This dynamic spring storm will also bring snow to the mountains and a mix of precipitation to the Front Range.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the central, northern mountain ranges. Heavy snow is expected through Wednesday afternoon.
In the southeast, expect very dry and windy conditions with high fire danger. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for most of the day in those areas.
> Below: Live weather conditions around the state.
An area of low pressure formed on the plains just east of Denver on Tuesday morning. The winds will then turn upslope from the east and northeast while some moist dew points work their way down from the north.
There will also be a cold front draped across the region providing additional instability for storm formation.
Expect thunderstorms to last into the night. A few cells will have the ability to become severe.
RELATED: Big change in weather, including Winter Storm Warning for mountains
What is Severe Weather?
To meet the criteria for severe weather, a storm must be capable of creating wind gusts of 58 mph or greater – or hail one inch in diameter or greater – or tornadoes.
Lightning and heavy rain are not included, but often accompany severe thunderstorms.
When a severe thunderstorm forms, the National Weather Service will issue a severe thunderstorm warning for the areas impacted by the storm.
But you can find out if severe weather will be possible in your area long before the storms show up.
You will see a forecast graphic on 9NEWS throughout the severe weather season called the Severe Thunderstorm Risk Outlook. The first outlook of the year has been issued for Tuesday .
The shaded area shows you where severe storms are most likely to form.
And those areas will be shaded different colors.
Green is called a Marginal risk. That means the storms are expected to be isolated. Possibly just one or two thunderstorms. And they are likely to be at the lower end of the severe thunderstorm definition.
Yellow is called a slight risk. That means the storms could be scattered which is just a little more coverage than isolated. And they could be a little stronger.
Orange is called an enhanced risk. That’s when the storms are expected to be numerous and stronger.
Colorado rarely gets a moderate or high risk, but those categories include widespread storms at the highest levels of severe weather.
These outlooks are usually issued 24 to 48 hours in advance of severe weather. Bigger storms can be predicted three days in advance or more.
The product it put out by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma and can also be found on their website. They call it the convective Outlook.
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