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Severe weather threat increases for Wichita area

Forecasters say strong thunderstorms are possible in much of the eastern half of Kansas tonight, including the Wichita metropolitan area.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., has placed all of Iowa, much of Oklahoma and Missouri, the eastern half of Kansas and portions of more than a half-dozen other states under a slight risk for severe weather today.

Heavy downpours and dime-sized hail have already been reported with a line of storms from Mount Hope to Potwin this afternoon.

Damaging downburst winds of as much as 65 miles an hour, and hail the size of golf balls are possible through early evening in central and southcentral Kansas – and mainly east of the Kansas Turnpike after dark.

Residents are urged to monitor conditions and take appropriate safety precautions.