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Storm Spawns Stunning Clouds Over Colorado

Image: A storm near Denver airport in Colorado
A storm near Denver airport in Colorado Paul Thompson / @FlyingPhotog via Twitter

Severe weather swept across Colorado on Wednesday evening, leading to the formation of rare and impressive mammatus clouds, thunderstorms and tornadoes over the state’s eastern plains and metropolitan area.

Paul Thompson captured this incredible panoramic image of the rare clouds at the Denver International Airport and posted it on Twitter.

The term that describes the puffy mammatus cloud formations comes from the Latin word for "breast." The clouds are seen as harbingers of a coming storm.

The wild weather was part of a dense pattern of severe thunderstorms that has seen destructive winds and tornado alerts sweep across the Plains, Midwest and Ohio Valley this week.

In the town of Hugo, about 100 miles southeast of Denver, wind gusts of up to 111mph were reported, taking down trees and power lines on Wednesday night.

One tornado was spotted near Hugo at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday local time (12.30 a.m. Thursday ET) and another was seen near Arriba 20 minutes later, 9News reported.

Severe weather was expected to continue in eastern Colorado, with forecasts predicting additional thunderstorms, a few tornadoes, and damaging winds into Thursday night and Friday, according to The Weather Channel.