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Severe storms possible Thursday

Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible late Thursday afternoon and evening across Mid-Missouri, mainly along and south of I-70.

A cold front has stalled over central Missouri and will be nearly stationary through the evening, acting as a lifting mechanism for storms. Increasing sunshine from the west Thursday afternoon will help provide instability for storms to develop if they can break through an atmospheric “cap” holding all of this energy in.

If thunderstorms develop and become severe, the main threats will be damaging winds in excess of 58 MPH, large hail 1″ in diameter or greater, and an isolated tornado or two. There is an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms just clipping Phelps and Pulaski counties. The greatest risk for severe weather Thursday will lie south of I-44, encompassing southern Missouri and Illinois, and into northern Arkansas.

In addition to severe weather threats, heavy rain is likely south of Highway 50 through early Friday as the low level jet stream kicks in, bringing more moisture to southern Missouri. Areas near the Lake of the Ozarks and along I-44 could see up to 1-2″ of rain by early Friday afternoon, with locally higher amounts. That rain potential has prompted a Flood Watch until Friday at Noon for the possibility of flash flooding on small creeks and streams, and significant river rises.

Things begin to quiet down Friday afternoon into the evening, with much cooler temperatures expected for the afternoon and evening in the lower 50s.

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