Severe Hailstorm Causes Major Damage in Yuma

As a result of the severe storms that occurred on Monday night, May 20th, the northeastern region of Colorado was hit with hail that caused damage to window panes and blanketed the ground in Yuma.

JJ Unger, a volunteer fireman, said that the damage caused by hail was widespread across the region following the heavy storm. In addition, the town had been given a flash flood warning, and it was also facing the possibility of tornadoes. The hail was causing drainage flows to get backed up, which led to the town beginning to flood.

The formation of hail occurs inside powerful thunderclouds where there are significant updrafts that lift droplets of water to altitudes where the temperature is below freezing.

The water droplets tangle with very small ice particles, which causes them to freeze, resulting in the formation of the first layer of a hail stone.

The hailstone is propelled upwards and downwards by the powerful updrafts and downdrafts that are present inside the thunderstorm. As it travels through the storm, it mixes again and again with additional supercooled water droplets that freeze on its surface. This allows the hailstone to expand in size via the process of precipitation accumulation with layers of transparent and opaque ice.

As soon as the hailstone reaches a weight above the updraft’s capacity to maintain, it quickly drops to the earth, with its diameters occasionally reaching four to eight inches or bigger.

On Monday, there were reports of widespread power outages in  Yuma County and Washington County. At several intervals during the night, both counties were warned of tornadoes.

According to Unger, the tumultuous scene resembled extreme weather. A call came out for him and the other volunteer firemen.  A power line had fallen, igniting a small fire.   Hail began to fall, which were the size of golf balls.

After the storm passed, Yuma was left to clean up the debris.