Finger on the Weather

Wichita weather for Wednesday: Strong storms possible, including a tornado

What one meteorologist is calling “the worst severe weather outbreak so far this year” looms today for much of the eastern half of Kansas and portions of western Missouri, including Wichita and Kansas City.

While thunderstorms are expected to be isolated, forecasters say, the storms that do develop will be capable of hail the size of baseballs or larger, winds of up to 75 miles an hour and large, long-lived tornadoes.

The storms are expected to begin developing sometime after 2 p.m. Wednesday, forecasters say.

“Lives and property will be threatened as this outbreak begins to produce destructive tornadoes and numerous thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hail, blinding downpours and frequent lightning during Wednesday,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski wrote on the company’s website.

Pydynowski also tagged the set-up as “the worst severe weather outbreak so far this year.”

In the Wichita area, morning drizzle will end as clouds gradually break up, then highs will surge into the upper 70s to low 80s. South-southwest winds will be in the teens.

AccuWeather is projecting only about a 1-in-4 chance of thunderstorms developing in the Wichita area. The National Weather Service is forecasting only about a 30 percent chance.

The Storm Prediction Center continues to anticipate an “enhanced” chance of severe weather today, with a 10 percent chance of tornadoes in an area that includes Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Much of the same area has a 30 percent chance of large hail, according to the SPC.

The storm threat will persist until early Thursday morning in the Wichita area before moving into southeast Kansas and Missouri. Overnight lows will be in the upper 50s.

Thursday will be sunny with a high in the 70s.

For more information on current conditions, go to our weather page.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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