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 only ones that seem to be enjoying the hail in Littleton @9news pic.twitter.com/gtdQPuojoy
— Whitney Fredette (@whitneyfredette) May 21, 2014
Photo of storm near Denver Airport this afternoon via @EXTREMECHASER pic.twitter.com/rSjuR4n3u6
— BuzzFeed Storm (@BuzzFeedStorm) May 21, 2014
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.
@LeeGoldbergABC7 at Denver airport #denvertornado pic.twitter.com/vdlYwQlPKH
— Jared Shure (@ShureLikeJared) May 21, 2014
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").
That's not something you see every day. Likely #Tornado nearly directly on top of KFTG radar. pic.twitter.com/Mz83dLepuv
— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) May 21, 2014
RT Scene from the Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado. Via @AnthonyQuintano http://t.co/BUg0Umo4yy pic.twitter.com/3UReC8hgiF
— Mike Morrison (@MikeWFXL) May 21, 2014
The hail made it seem like winter in Littleton and Colorado Springs.
Hail from #DIA from a #tornado warned storm. #cowx pic.twitter.com/Ju3nnKqzsa
— Max Mueller Weather (@MaxM_WX) May 21, 2014
Tornado warning at #dia. #cowx pic.twitter.com/zBBI9Ew9Ap
— Sarah Millett (@SarahMillett) May 21, 2014
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.