Weather alert

Tornado watch in effect until 10 p.m.

Updated: 2013-05-19T21:53:42Z

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch until 10 p.m. Sunday for most of the Kansas City region.

The weather service's Storm Prediction Center has posted a moderate risk for severe weather in portions of Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Among the cities included in the moderate risk are Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. “The overall environment appears quite favorable for tornadoes,” the SPC outlook states.

The forecast calls for rain and thunderstorms Sunday evening into Monday, some possibly severe. These are storms that can bring downpours, large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.

Small-scale details could impact when and where storms develop. Among those is the strength of the “cap” in the atmosphere, which inhibits thunderstorm development. “Caps” are typically a layer of warmer air aloft which serves to deflect lower-level air rising into the cooler air of the atmosphere. That “lift” helps give thunderstorms their power.

Large hail and strong tornadoes are the primary threats from this set-up. The moderate area covers more than 62,000 square miles and involves more than 6 million people. Monitor conditions and alerts closely and be prepared to seek shelter.

| Star news services; Stan Finger, Kansas.com

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