Morning thunderstorms pound KC with driving rain, strong winds
The Kansas City metro and surrounding areas are under a severe thunderstorm watch until noon Wednesday as storms approach from the west, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
These storms will be capable of producing ping pong-sized hail, wind gusts up to 70 mph and frequent lightning. They are expected to arrive in the metro area between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m., according to the weather service.
Shortly before 8 a.m., a line of severe thunderstorms were threatening several cities west of the Kansas City area, including Topeka and Lawrence. The storms were moving east at 50 mph, had wind gusts up to 60 mph and were producing penny-sized hail.
About 10 minutes later, the weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for northwestern Wyandotte, Leavenworth, northwestern Johnson and Atchison counties in Kansas, and southwestern Buchanan and central Platte County in Missouri.
Severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from Everest to near Winchester to near Perry in Kansas and were moving east at 40 mph. Wind gusts up to 60 mph and quarter-sized hail were possible with the storms.
The National Weather Service in Topeka issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Jefferson, Shawnee, northeastern Wabaunsee, northern Douglas, southeastern Nemaha, Jackson and southern Brown counties in Kansas.
Once the storms pass through, temperatures are expected to climb to near 90 degrees in the Kansas City metro. High humidity levels will send heat index values into the mid to upper 90s.
Meanwhile, a heat advisory has been issued for areas southwest of Kansas City, including portions of central, southern and eastern Missouri and southeastern Kansas, where temperatures are expected to climb into the lower 90s and heat index values will soar above 100 degrees.
Scattered strong to severe storms also will be possible Wednesday afternoon, primarily southeast of the Kansas City metro area. These storms will be capable of producing heavy rains with localized downpours, wind gusts up to 60 mph and quarter-sized hail.
These storms are expected to fire up between 3 and 6 p.m.