Weather News

Tornadoes, hail, flash flooding possible as severe storms roll into Kansas City area

Several rounds of severe thunderstorms are expected to sweep into the Kansas City area Tuesday afternoon and evening, bringing the possibility of damaging winds, hail and a few tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

Some of the tornadoes could be strong, according to the weather service.

Areas north of Interstate 70, including the Kansas City metro area, are at risk of seeing tornadoes. But the areas under the greatest risk include extreme northeastern Kansas and northern Missouri, including the St. Joseph, Maryville and Kirksville areas.

The severe storms are expected to begin developing about 3 p.m. and continue overnight. The severe weather is expected to roll into the Kansas City metro area between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Damaging winds with gusts between 60 to 70 mph will be possible in the Kansas City metro area and northeastern Kansas and northern Missouri. Damaging hail up to the size of golf balls is also possible, according to the weather service.

Heavy rains from the storms could cause flash flooding, especially along northern Missouri, which has seen 4 to 8 inches of rain over the past 3 days. Because of already saturated soils, it will not take much rain for flash flooding to occur.

A flash flood watch has been issued across northern Missouri through Wednesday morning as multiple rounds of thunderstorms are expected to bring an additional 2 to 3 inches of rain, possibly more to some localized areas, according to weather service.

Drivers are warned not to drive into flood-covered roads and to take extra caution at night because flood waters are hard to see.

Thunderstorms and showers are expected to linger in the area Wednesday morning into the afternoon. Hail the size of quarters and damaging winds of 50 to 60 mph will be possible from the strongest storms, according to the weather service.

A few scattered showers and thunderstorms will also be possible Thursday. These storms, however, are not expected to be severe.

The continued rounds of rain will exacerbate flooding on area rivers, according to the weather service.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.