A rash of storms moved through parts of eastern El Paso County Sunday afternoon, producing at least one funnel cloud near Schriever Air Force Base and piling hail up nearly 3 inches deep along portions of Highway 94 in the Schriever-Ellicott area.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but traffic on police scanners indicated that cars were sliding off the road.
"It's like a winter wonderland out here," said one person on the scene.
El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Roybal said there were two reports of a funnel cloud: one near Book Road and Peyton Highway; the other in the neighborhood of Mockingbird Lane.
"It was probably the same tornado. There were no reports of touchdowns or damage," Roybal said.
There were also two weather-related auto accidents on Highway 94, which runs between Ellicott and Colorado Springs. There were no injuries, the Colorado State Patrol reported.
The weather service issued back-to-back thunderstorm warnings mid-afternoon Sunday for the Ellicott area, both calling for hail big enough to damage cars, and wind gusts of up to 60 mph - strong enough to damage roofs and trees.
"Highway 94 is likely covered with hail," the National Weather Service noted in one of its severe thunderstorm warnings.
The weather service said Doppler radar indicated about 2 inches of rain fell in 20 minutes in the area.
The Black Forest burn scar also was in the path of an earlier storm, but an El Paso County Sheriff's dispatcher said it moved through without incident.
LarryWalrod, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Pueblo, said the storms were caused by a pool of moisture from Arizona and Utah that moved in overnight and got sucked up by the afternoon heat.
"Storms are like people; they like to eat moisture," he said.
And more are on the way later in the week - bad news for a storm-weary region.
The forecast for Monday and Tuesday calls for drier skies near the mountains, but continuing storms to the east, though not as intense as Sunday. "The storms will be more lightning and gusty winds, not the heavy hail like Sunday," Walrod said.
In the midweek, however, there are chances for more intense thunderstorms and flash flooding increases.
"We could see flash flooding in the burn scars," Walrod said. "The only way to solve that problem is September, and a nine-month break."