Severe weather possible for Kansas City area Thursday


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the most part, we’ve been able to avoid severe weather in this part of the country.

On March 15, we had an EF-0 tornado go through southern Johnson County, Kansas, along with one other tornado report in Cass County, Missouri. After that, skies have been quiet outside of a handful of severe thunderstorms.

Come Wednesday night into Thursday, that timeframe could hold the next best chance of severe weather for the Kansas City area.

First off, we have a small chance of a strong storm Tuesday night. One or two storms this evening may be strong to severe, packing gusty wind and small hail. By Wednesday morning, all activity will have broken down or moved away.

Wednesday will actually be one of the hotter days of 2021 so far. Highs are expected in the mid-80s with partly sunny skies for everyone. Finally… a dry day!

Storm Prediction Center’s Severe Outlook Wednesday. Best chance for severe storms is just northwest of town Wednesday night.
Storm Prediction Center’s Severe Outlook for Thursday. Severe weather for our area this day is conditional.

That afternoon, out west across Nebraska and Kansas, thunderstorms will be firing up and colliding while we stick with sun and clouds.

Those storms will likely form into a complex of thunderstorms by the evening, packing very strong wind, large hail, and possibly a few tornadoes along the leading edge. Everything will be moving east toward Kansas City overnight Wednesday into early Thursday while weakening slightly.

Possible radar image as of 6:30 AM Thursday.

Now, the biggest question mark attached to this forecast is how does the AM showers and storms affect our part of the atmosphere?

If we do see loud or severe storms Thursday morning, the cooler air following the precipitation will limit the available storm energy (cooler surface air means less energy for storm development) for anything that could develop later in the afternoon and evening. Meaning that we might not see as strong of storms in the afternoon if morning rain hangs around.

If the storms out west fizzle or break down before getting to us, the atmosphere in our area may be able to recover, helping our severe chances go up as that rain-cooled air stays away and we can warm up more during the day.

Possible radar image as of 7 p.m. Thursday. More numerous severe storms are possible if the atmosphere can recover from Thursday AM rain.

So, as of Tuesday, there’s still some things that need to be ironed out with the timing and threats for Thursday. But, just know that the Wednesday night/Thursday area is the one we’re watching this week.

We’ll keep you informed with updates moving forward!

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