Finger on the Weather

Much of Kansas faces tornado threat Thursday

Strong tornadoes, large hail and winds of almost hurricane force are possible with thunderstorms in southern and south-central Kansas on Thursday, forecasters say.

The storms could fire up any time after 1 p.m. in central Kansas, according to the National Weather Service. Any tornadoes that form have the potential to be strong and long-lasting, forecasters say.

“A strong tornado or two is possible, particularly across parts of southwestern Kansas and adjacent northwestern Oklahoma late Thursday afternoon and evening,” an outlook posted by the Storm Prediction Center states.

A moderate risk for severe weather covers central Kansas, stretching from Reno County west to north of Liberal. Wichita, Salina, Hutchinson and Hays are included in an enhanced risk, one level below moderate.

Winds of 75 miles an hour or more, hail at least an inch in diameter and strong, long-track tornadoes are possible with thunderstorms that develop, weather officials say.

Monitor forecasts and conditions closely and be prepared to seek shelter if necessary.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger