Hail, damaging winds possible as line of severe thunderstorms threaten Kansas City

Update: A new weather story has been posted with more recent information about the forecast. It can be found here.

Large hail and damaging winds will be the primary threats as severe storms are expected to move across the Kansas City area this evening, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

Although unlikely, a tornado or two can’t be ruled out.

The best chance for severe weather is between 6 and 10 p.m., but the thunderstorms could start popping up around the evening rush hour, according to the weather service.

Initially, the storms will likely develop as a few single-cell storms mainly east of Interstate 35 but then form a line of storms along a cold front that’s expected to stretch from the metro area up to Mercer County, Missouri.

The threat of severe storms will drop off quickly after the sun sets about 8 p.m. However, moderate to heavy rain will likely continue along the line of storms, according to the weather service. There’s a low chance of flash flooding.

The Kansas City area could see between .5 and .75 of an inch of rain from the storms. Areas to the south, however, could see as much as 1.5 inches. Areas north of Kansas City will see less rain.

The storms are expected to move out of the area overnight into Thursday morning.

Colder air will move in behind the cold front, keeping highs limited to the 50s and low 60s on Thursday, according to the weather service. Highs will warm to the 60s for Friday and then 70s for Saturday.

With this being the first decent chance for spring season severe thunderstorms, the National Weather Service has compiled information to help people manage their stress during the storms.

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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.