There is a potential of strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon through this evening across much of east-central and southeast Missouri.
The storm system that brought baseball size hail, destructive winds over 70 m.p.h. and several tornado spin ups across Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and northwestern Missouri will move into the Parkland region by later today. The frontal boundary will be the focus point for redeveloping showers and thunderstorms.
“We have a really hot and humid air mass that’s entrenched over the area and with that there’s a warm front that is slowly moving north through northeast Missouri into parts of west-central Illinois and that warm front is sort of a catalyst to get thunderstorms going, said Jon Carney, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “Thunderstorms that were ongoing across Iowa and Nebraska overnight are expected to track along that warm front this morning and will most likely bring some severe weather to northern Missouri and west-central Illinois.
“The storms are expected to drift as far south as the Interstate 70 corridor, maybe a little bit further, but not much expected in the way of severe weather across southeast Missouri this morning.”
St. Francois and surrounding counties may be fortunate to miss out on the first wave of storms this morning, however, that will not be the case as the storm system inches closer to the area later today.
“The weather system that is producing the warm front and accompanied by a cold front will eventually push through. The frontal passage will bring in another round of severe weather to the area with the primary threats of damaging winds and large hail,” said Carney.
The tornado potential from this storm system does not seem as impressive today as it once was over the Central Plains on Tuesday, but there still is a small chance of a few weak isolated tornadoes developing.
“The tornado threat is more limited to Iowa,” Carney added. “There’s a chance for a few isolated tornadoes up in northeast Missouri and west-central Illinois today, but I think closer to home the primary hazard will be damaging straight line winds in excess of 60 mph maybe even 70 or 80 mph depending how strong the storms can get.
“Large hail and heavy downpours of rain will also accompany the stronger storms.”
The area has been quite dry lately and with any storm system expected to bring heavy rainfall to the area in a dry spell, the question arises whether or not flooding or flash flooding will become a concern.
“No real widespread flooding is expected,” explained Carney. “Maybe isolated areas may have a few problems. There’s always a chance with these kind of storm systems that bring heavy rain in a short amount of time which will get local creeks, rivers and streams to rise on short notice and in turn could create isolated flash flooding, but I think widespread flooding is not likely today.”
The forecast for today has high temperatures in the lower 90s with partly sunny skies and the chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. has all of southeast Missouri under a “slight risk” for severe thunderstorms.
After the storm system passes to the south tonight, temperatures will drop into the lower 60s for overnight lows. With mostly cloudy skies, Thursday will be significantly cooler with mercury readings only reaching into the mid 70s for afternoon highs.
Thursday will remain mostly dry with the threat of precipitation returning in the evening from another storm system sweeping through the region.
Korey Johnson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or Kjohnson@dailyjournalonline.com