Denver, Colorado area socked by extreme hailstorm, tornadoes (PHOTOS)

A supercell thunderstorm drifted through Denver’s northeast suburbs Wednesday, pounding homes with hailstones. (The Washington Post)

A supercell thunderstorm drifted through Denver’s northeast suburbs early this afternoon spawning tornadoes and depositing incredible amounts of hail.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center logged multiple reports (at least 5) of tornadoes in the vicinity of Denver and Aurora, but no reports of damage.

The rotating storms produced surreal skies:

Capital Weather Gang’s Ian Livingston, on the scene, captured this video:

The hail – in some areas several inches deep – resembled a crippling snowstorm:

Here’s a view of the scene from Denver International Airport when the storm was close:

The Denver Post provides some nice insight into how this violent storm developed:

The stormy weather was fueled, in part, by southeasterly winds, setting up a pattern “known as the Denver cyclone,” said Frank Cooper, a meteorologist with the NWS in Boulder.

Denver sits in a bowl, with mountains to the west and higher terrain to the south — the Palmer Divide — and to the north — the Cheyenne Ridge.

As the winds, with gusts up to 60 mph Wednesday afternoon, mix with bands of stormy weather, the terrain sets up an “eddy” and the Denver Cyclone goes into effect, Cooper said.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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