Severe weather that swept through Missouri Wednesday might be seen as a precursor for storms now moving through the state.
The National Weather Service says the same storm system is causing storms today, but a cold front that held back on Wednesday is sweeping through today as well.
“Yesterday things were a little more scattered in nature, even though it still impacted a large part of the state,” says meteorologist Dan Hawblitzel. “What we’re going to anticipate seeing today is a more organized line forming across much of the state along that front and that’s going to be swinging through the area through much of the evening and then to the overnight hours across the state of Missouri.”
The line is predicted to gradually progress east through Missouri, with storms weakening in the late evening and producing showers and weak thunderstorms in southeast Missouri on Friday morning. Other showers and thunderstorms are already occurring ahead of that line.
Until then, the possibility exists for severe weather in much of the state, with the greatest chance being in southwest Missouri and the Ozarks.
“Springfield, Branson, over towards West Plains – those are the areas most likely to see the stronger storms and heaviest rain, even though we could see storms and some locally heavy rain as far north as northeastern Missouri,” says Hawblitzel.
He says the primary threats with storms today will be damaging winds and large hail, but isolated tornadoes can not be ruled out.
Forecasters are particularly concerned about flash flooding from these storms.
“We’re getting some very heavy rainfall rates,” says Hawblitzel. “Right now the storms going through Kansas City, we’ve measured over an inch of rain in less than 30 minutes … those parts of the state more susceptible to flash flooding, especially the Ozarks and the Ozark hills, are going to have to keep a close eye on the flash flood potential.”
Hawblitzel reminds Missourians that the threat posed by flash flooding should not be taken lightly.
“Just the term ‘flash’ itself means it happens really quickly and that catches people off guard, and that is the most deadly type of flooding,” he says.
Though storms are expected to be more organized today, Hawblitzel says that doesn’t always translate to storms being more dangerous.
“The fact that we’ve already had several rounds of thunderstorms has kind of, what we would say, ‘worked the air mass over.’ It’s kind of taken the ‘juice’ that these storms want out of the atmosphere,” says Hawblitzel. “There’s still a little bit there for these storms to work with but overall severity isn’t looking quite as bad as it was yesterday. Being more organized just means we’re going to see more of them.”
He hopes that Missourians, after storms blew through Wednesday but didn’t cause widespread damage, don’t pay less attention to storms today.
“We hope that doesn’t happen,” says Hawblitzel. “Any time a warning is issued, it’s a storm to be taken seriously.”
For information for your area, visit these NWS pages:
In northwest and western Missouri: Kansas City (Pleasant Hill)
In northeast and eastern Missouri: St. Louis
In southwest Missouri: Springfield
In southeast Missouri: Paducah, KY
Scotland and Clark counties: Davenport, IA