Several rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms began rolling through the Kansas City region Wednesday evening, bringing torrential rain and the potential for flash flooding.
A tornado warning was issued shortly after 8 p.m. for parts of southeastern Jackson County and nearby areas of Johnson and Lafayette counties. No tornado sightings were reported and the warning expired.
Later, a tornado warning was issued in Saline County until 10:45 p.m.
The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo., issued a flash flood watch for the Kansas City region effective from 7 p.m. Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday.
The flash flood watch includes Johnson, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Carroll, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in the metro area.
The storms began hitting the Kansas City area shortly before 8 p.m. Golf-ball-sized hail and 60 mph winds were reported in nearby Kansas counties.
About 400 Kansas City Power & Light customers in Johnson and Jackson counties lost power before 8 p.m. About 1,400 power outages were reported in Wyandotte County.
A stretch of U.S. 169 south of Olathe was closed after a row of 15 power poles fell between 159th and 175th streets, according to the weather service.
A frontal boundary approaching the Kansas City area Wednesday afternoon was likely to stall between U.S. 36 and Interstate 70, which could lead to several rounds of strong thunderstorms.
The National Weather Service expects these storms to “be very efficient rain producers.” With the potential for the storms to repeatedly move over the same locations, flooding could be an issue Wednesday night, including in areas that typically are not prone to flooding.
Widespread rainfall of 1 to 2 inches is expected, with some localized areas receiving higher amounts. Areas north of Kansas City could see more than 2 inches of rain.
The threat for severe storms increases after 4 p.m. and could last into the late evening.
The main risks are winds of 60 to 70 mph, golf-ball-sized hail and flooding in flood-prone areas. There’s a minimal risk for a tornado, mainly in far northern Missouri, according to the National Weather Service.