We are continuing to monitor the potential for a handful of severe storms this afternoon across parts of Central Kansas. This will not be a widespread severe weather event, but the storms that do develop could get quite rowdy this afternoon and evening.
Morning model runs continue to suggest storms may develop after 4 pm in two different parts of Central Kansas. The first is generally bounded in an area from Smith Center to Phillipsburg to Hays to Russell, while the second area is from Great Bend to Rush Center to Greensburg to Pratt.
Our belief is that the strongest activity will be in the second area, but in both areas, damaging winds (60-70 mph) and large hail (1-2 inches in diameter, greatest early in storm evolution) are the main threats. However, there is a non-zero tornado threat, which will be driven primarily by storm interactions and mergers. Once the storms grow upscale, the tornado threat will come to an end.
Here is a selection of model-predicted radar appearances over approximately the same time frame, 4 pm this evening thru midnight tonight:
We feel a combination of the HRRR/WRF-ARW models continue to have the best handle on the situation today. That said, if the capping inversion is too strong, there could be no storm development in the southern-most area. It is the one major fail point to today’s chase.
All of that said, here is our risk analysis for this afternoon:
Scott & I will be headed west to the US 281 corridor, between Pratt and St. John, as a jumping-off point late this afternoon. We’ll see you from the road!