Severe Storms Stall Cars in Colorado, Send Passengers to Shelters at Denver Airport

Flooding on 56th Avenue, east of Denver International Airport, posed problems for drivers Wednesday afternoon.

Severe thunderstorms pounded the Denver metro area — located at the fin of the shark of storms that the National Weather Service predicted could occur — for a second straight day Wednesday,
Large hail fell from Colorado Springs to Denver, affecting Denver International Airport, where multiple tornado warnings sent passengers to airport tornado shelters. A tornado, or a strong rotation in a thunderstorm that may not have touched the ground, passed almost directly over the Doppler radar that enables forecasters to detect such hazards.

The storms were ongoing as of Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, and created memorable images on social media.

The storm at Denver International Airport looked like an atomic-weapons test, as passengers huddled in and near tornado shelters (also known as restrooms) in the terminals.

The area of strongest rotation within the thunderstorm that passed over the airport could be seen on radar, nearly directly on top of the radome itself (the dark circle in the photo, below, labeled "KFTG").

The hail made it seem like winter in Littleton and Colorado Springs.

Here are two videos shot from in the sprawling airport, which is located about 30 miles east of downtown Denver. Tornadoes are a relatively common occurrence in the airport's vicinity, which is why the bathrooms in the terminals are also marked with tornado-shelter signs.

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