Severe weather is being predicted to sweep through Missouri this afternoon and evening, and could bring with it tornadoes as well as damaging winds and large hail.
One round of storms has already affected much of the state, but National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Gitro says Missourians shouldn’t let their guard down yet.
“We could have several different shots of moderate to severe thunderstorms during the overnight period tonight,” Gitro told Missourinet.
Gitro says the storms tonight are anticipated to be more severe than those that have already developed today.
“In addition to the hail threat that we expect later on this afternoon into this evening, we’re also concerned about the possibility of some tornadoes developing across the area as well as some very strong, damaging wind gusts,” Gitro said. “We have a stationary boundary that’s pretty much stalled over the area, we’ve got very strong winds aloft, and any time that we have a stalled frontal boundary across the area we’re concerned that we could have some developing tornadoes along that boundary because the winds in those areas where the frontal boundary is tend to blow out of a different direction so we get a lot of change with height as the thunderstorms start to move over the area with respect to the winds, and that’s where we can see tornadoes develop in the vicinity of a stalled frontal boundary.”
Gitro says while it is impossible to predict with total accuracy, he anticipates that any tornadic activity will consist of isolated twisters rather than an outbreak.
“One of the limiting factors might be just the level of instability north of the warm front. Looks like we’re going to be able to become pretty unstable south of the front and it’s just going to be whether or not we’re going to be able to see any of the low-level mesocyclone start to develop within the thunderstorm to produce a tornado,” said Gitro.
“The areas that are most under the gun are going to be south of the Missouri River between Interstate 44 and the Interstate 70 corridor,” said Gitro. “Any activity that does develop will likely spread east into the St. Louis area as well during the overnight hours.”
Storms are predicted to enter the region around 4 to 5 p.m. and spread into more of the state through the evening and night.
Gitro says there is also concern about flooding, particularly for areas that have seen significant rain in the past few days. More severe weather could be triggered by a cold front tomorrow, but the greatest predicted threat for severe weather does shift farther east tomorrow.
He reminds Missourians that whether the Weather Service has issued a tornado warning or a severe thunderstorm warning for an area, either one means it wants individuals to take cover.
“Large hail, very strong winds; 60, 70 mile per hour winds, could do just as much damage or hurt somebody just as bad as a tornado can,” said Gitro.
For updated information tune in to these Missourinet affiliates, and for National Weather Service 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
For Missouri highway conditions find a link to the Transportation Department’s Traveler Information Map on our homepage (also available as a smart phone app).