Weather

Kansas City faces waves of storms, flash flooding as south braces for tornadoes

NWS predicts outbreak of severe thunderstorms, violent tornadoes, heavy rain

The National Weather Service is forecasting an outbreak of severe thunderstorms, violent tornadoes, and heavy rain across the plains today and tonight, with northern Texas, southern and central Oklahoma at the highest risk.
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The National Weather Service is forecasting an outbreak of severe thunderstorms, violent tornadoes, and heavy rain across the plains today and tonight, with northern Texas, southern and central Oklahoma at the highest risk.

Monday and Tuesday will be extremely wet as Kansas City faces waves of severe weather that will bring heavy rains to the metro area, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

Thunderstorms are expected to start moving into the far southern part of the Kansas City area Monday night, with the stronger storms possibly producing hail 1 to 1 .5 inch in diameter. The rain could cause flooding around the region.

“The biggest thing probably is going to be the heavy rain that unfolds later this evening and tonight,” said Chris Bowman, a meteorologist with the weather service. “We could see maybe an inch or two of rain overnight. That is kind of the precursor to round one.”

Thunderstorms could be lingering in the area early Tuesday morning. They are not expected to be severe. It’s a good bet that Tuesday morning’s rush hour will be rainy.

“Thunderstorms will be in the area and they will probably have the potential for heavy downpours,” Bowman said. “As far as the morning rush hour, that could definitely be impacted by pockets of moderate to heavy rain and thunderstorm activity.”

Another round of potentially severe storms is expected to move through the Kansas City area late Tuesday morning and early afternoon. Those storms will be capable of producing large hail up to 1.5 inch in diameter and damaging winds of 70 mph.

There could even be a few tornadoes, Bowman said.

“Be aware of the weather as we head into late tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon,” Bowman said. “That is when we expect it to be the most volatile.”

Another 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible as that line of storms moves through.

“In the grand scheme of things, we are probably looking at 3-plus inches of rain in the next 30 hours and several rounds of thunderstorm activity,” Bowman said.

With the ground already saturated, the additional rains could lead to flash flooding Monday night and Tuesday afternoon. The new rainfall could also prolong flooding along the Missouri River and lead to new flooding on its tributaries.

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.

The severe weather comes as an outbreak of tornadoes, some potentially long-track and violent, is expected Monday evening over portions of Texas and Oklahoma. More isolated, but still potentially dangerous severe weather including tornadoes, destructive winds and hail, is possible in other parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.

This outbreak of severe weather should serve as a reminder to have a way to receive severe weather warnings, including apps for your smart phones. People should be prepared for what to do if a warning is issued.

“Take a little bit of time this afternoon or this evening to figure out where I need to go if a tornado warning is issued for my area,” Bowman said.

There will be a bit of a break from the rains Wednesday. But there’s a chance of thunderstorms from Thursday through the end of the week.

“It’s not going to be raining all day long through that time period,” Bowman said. “But there will be periods of showers and thunderstorms from Thursday onward pretty much every day to contend with.”

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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.
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