Weather

Weather officials: Tornado can’t be ruled out east of I-135

Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center

Some strong thunderstorms are possible this afternoon in the Wichita area — primarily east of I-135, according to the National Weather Service.

Wichita is included in a slight risk for severe weather, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center reports. A section of eastern Kansas beginning just east of Wichita has a 5 percent chance for a tornado.

While that sounds minimal, forecasters have told me 5 percent is enough to warrant paying closer attention to conditions and to have shelter plans in place, depending on the day’s activities. Wichita is included in a fringe zone with a 2 percent chance for tornadoes.

Isolated strong thunderstorms could deliver hail as large as golf balls and damaging winds. While a tornado can’t be ruled out in Kansas, a Storm Prediction Center analysis of the atmospheric conditions indicates the better chances for tornadoes will be in southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, western Mississippi and northeastern Texas.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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