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Tornado chances growing for Wichita and southwest Kansas

Conditions are coming together to support large tornadoes in portions of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and southwest Kansas.

The tornado risk is also increasing for the Wichita area, local forecasters caution. The map below, produced by the College of DuPage for the Storm Prediction Center, shows a 15 percent chance of an EF-2 to EF-5 tornado in the zone marked by red dashed lines. A 5 percent chance of tornadoes (as denoted by the blue line) extends as far east as Wichita and on down into Sumner County.

Clearing skies south of Wichita have fueled instability beyond expectations, prompting forecasters to increase the tornado threat in the metropolitan area.

The greater threat for Wichita continues to be large hail and strong winds, National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Ketcham said, but tornadoes can not be ruled out.

Storm chasers have converged on Childress, Texas, but Kansas cities that should be on alert include Liberal, Dodge City, Garden City, Coldwater, Greensburg, Syracuse and Scott City.

Monitor conditions closely, and go to our weather page for current conditions.

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