The Storm Prediction Center has posted an enhanced risk of severe weather in a large portion of eastern Kansas for Friday, including much of the Wichita metropolitan area.
“Severe thunderstorms with large hail, wind damage and some tornadoes will be possible across the central Plains” on Friday, stated an outlook posted on the SPC’s website.
Wichita is on the southwestern edge of the enhanced risk area, which extends east into parts of western Missouri. A second enhanced zone is projected from northern Texas into parts of Arkansas and Louisiana.
The Wichita branch of the National Weather Service has been cautioning residents in its coverage area to be alert for severe weather Friday since Wednesday.
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Hail as large as golf balls and damaging winds will be the primary threats from the storms, according to a hazardous weather outlook posted by the agency.
“There is a risk for supercell storms with very large hail and a tornado or two,” the statement reads. “At this point, supercells would be most likely east of a Hillsboro to Wichita to Wellington line.”
Forecasters are monitoring computer models closely, because there is uncertainty about where storms will fire up along the warm front as it moves through Kansas.
“The risk area and magnitude of severe weather could change with later forecasts,” the agency’s outlook states.
The Wichita branch of the weather service will hold a conference call with emergency management officials either today or Friday to discuss the severe weather threats.