Weather

Don't get used to those blue skies. Thunderstorms expected this week

A complex of strong to severe thunderstorms is expected to swoop into Kansas City on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing the chance for large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding. The risk of tornadoes is low, but they can't be completely ruled out.
A complex of strong to severe thunderstorms is expected to swoop into Kansas City on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing the chance for large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding. The risk of tornadoes is low, but they can't be completely ruled out. skeyser@kcstar.com

Get ready, Kansas City. After a cool start to the spring, this year's severe storm season appears ready to get underway this week.

The first round arrives Tuesday evening, said Spencer Mell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop over southeast Nebraska and move east and southeast into Missouri. These storms could bring damaging winds and large hail along with the potential for heavy rains that could cause localized flash flooding Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, Mell said.

Severe weather is expected Wednesday also, but it depends on how quickly Tuesday's storms move out of the area. If the storms linger, the severity of Wednesday's storms could be limited.

But if Tuesday's storms clear out earlier in the day on Wednesday, there's potential for severe weather capable of producing damaging winds, large hail and localized flash flooding, Mell said.

"We've been very fortunate as a side effect of the cooler spring that we've had so far, we've really not had much in the way of severe weather," Mell said. "This may be the first organized round of severe weather that we could see across the area."

If tornadoes develop, the better chance would be Wednesday. But the risk of tornadoes from these storms look "very, very low at this time," Mell said, adding they cannot be completely ruled out.

Ever heard of the term 'supercell' but didn't know what it was? Learn about these powerful storms responsible for most tornadoes in the United States and other thunderstorms in this video from NWS.

Before the severe weather arrives, Kansas City faces another risk. There's a chance for high fire danger on Monday because of strong winds coming out of the south at 25 to 35 mph.

"Any fires that do get going could quickly burn out of control," said Mell. "So outdoor burning would be discouraged."

The highs for the first half of this week should be in the upper 70s to lower 80s. Temperatures will cool slightly with highs in the mid-70s for the later part of the week.

Because of the chance for severe weather, Mell suggested people be weather aware and to monitor Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates in the forecast.

Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather related fatalities in the U.S., according to the NWS. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roads.

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb
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