If you want to know if severe weather is in store for the Kansas City area later today, just watch the sky this morning.
“There’s potential for severe weather, but it is not a certainty,” said Evan Bookbinder, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
The forecast depends greatly on the extent of cloud cover and rain this morning. If it remains overcast with shower activity, the chance for severe weather greatly decreases, he said.
“The more sun we see or breaks in the clouds, the greater the potential,” he said. “You want to keep an eye to the sky. You don’t want to see too much sunshine.”
Add in the humidity, and that makes the air more unstable. Still, the storm system has a long way to go before it arrives here.
But if there is clearing, the conditions will be favorable for severe weather this afternoon and evening. The greatest threat is expected between 3 p.m. and midnight.
The primary threat would be damaging winds. Large hail and tornadoes also would be possible, but less likely.
There is good news, Bookbinder said. The area remains well below the normal rainfall totals, so any rain, however brief, would be a benefit.
“We are optimistic that most areas will squeak out a half -inch or an inch or more of precipitation by early Sunday,” he said.
On Sunday, expect a gradual clearing with temperatures reaching the low 70s.
“Monday looks spectacular, as does Tuesday, with highs in the upper 70s,” he said.