Tornado watch - KKTV
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A tornado watch was issued for much of Colorado's eastern plains on Sunday. 

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At least seven tornadoes touched down in eastern Colorado Sunday, and the FAA stopped flights from coming into Denver International Airport due to severe weather for several hours Sunday evening. 

Denver International Airport was put under an inbound ground stop at 4:30 p.m., said airport spokeswoman Alex Renteria. Heavy hail briefly pelted the airport and strong wind sheers made it unsafe to land planes.

The ground stop was canceled shortly before 8:30 p.m.

One passenger tweeted about how his plane was diverted to Colorado Springs. 

Other passengers reported being stuck in planes at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Severe activity fired up first in southeastern Colorado, according to Randy Gray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo. A spotter reported a tornado about 8 miles south of McClave in Bent County at about 2:54 p.m. Another tornado touched down at 2:38 p.m. 3 miles northeast Wiley, which is in northwestern Prowers County. A third tornado came down 4 miles south of Eads at 4:10 p.m.

That breakout was followed by four more tornadoes in northeastern Colorado. The first, reported at 4:38 p.m., was located one mile northwest of Keenesburg in Weld County. Another hit the ground at 5:37 p.m. 2 miles northeast of Watkins in Adams County. A tornado was reported on the ground a minute later 6 miles northwest of Roggen in Weld County.

Most were short-lived but a tornado spotted at 6:08 p.m. about 5 miles southeast of Hugo in Lincoln County spent 10 minutes on the ground, Gray said. As with the other tornadoes, it ran through open fields.

“There was no damage or injuries,” Gray said.

Several areas reported large hail. Springfield, in the southeast corner of the state, was hit with 2.5-inch diameter hail, large enough to damage crops and vehicles. Hail larger than 3 inches in diameter was reported in the area of Denver International Airport.

Kiowa, Cheyenne, Weld, Arapahoe, Adams and Kit Carson counties all faced tornado warnings during the afternoon and into the evening. Cheyenne County was under a flash flood warning through 7:15 p.m. due to heavy rains.

Campers and boaters in the eastern part of the state, out to enjoy the holiday weekend, were a particular area of concern, due to a lack of shelter, said Jennifer Stark, a meteorologist with NWS Pueblo.

A tornado watch remains in effect until 9 p.m. Sunday for Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers and Yuma counties.

A separate tornado watch lasting through 10 p.m. covers Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Elbert, Lincoln, Morgan, Washington and Weld counties.

The Gazette contributed to this report. 

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