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Potentially dangerous storms on tap for Saturday

After a relatively quiet May across Mid-Missouri, the severe threat is ramping up and it comes at an unfortunate time.

This Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the most traveled in over a decade and for us here in Mid-Missouri, this weekend will feature the potential for all modes of severe weather. Both Friday and Saturday features a chance of seeing severe storms, with the greatest and most concerning threat being Saturday afternoon.


A nearly stationary upper level low over southern Canada will play a huge role in our severe threat as we head into the weekend.

As we head through the night tonight, an upper level disturbance ahead of the main upper level low will track across the plains.

This will provide some forcing for showers and storms to develop as we head through the morning hours tomorrow.

Models are having a hard time initiating overnight, as an MCS is expected to develop and weaken as it drifts eastward through the night.

However, the lower level jet is expected to strengthen through the morning hours on Friday, which should provide enough support for ongoing shower activity through the morning on Friday. While storms aren’t expected to be severe Friday morning, a strong cap in place through the afternoon hours, very unstable air and dewpoints in the upper 60s will provide support for strong thunderstorms to develop ahead of a cold front Friday evening, which have the potential to go severe, only if the cap breaks. Currently there is a marginal risk of severe weather for Friday, with the likelihood of a slight risk forthcoming if higher confidence arises in initialization on Friday.

Shifting to Saturday which is extremely concerning, most of Mid-Missouri is under an enhanced risk of severe weather. Widespread severe and dangerous thunderstorms are expected Saturday afternoon as a strong cold front is set to track through Mid-Missouri.

As the frontal boundary tracks through Mid-Missouri, the atmosphere will be prime for severe development. With shear in the 40-50 knot range and CAPE approaching 4000-5000, storms will quickly go severe with damaging hail and winds likely.

Tornadoes are also possible, but with little in the way of winds out of the southeast, the threat is lower. The greatest threat for tornadoes will exist where storms track into the frontal boundary.


With two rounds of severe weather expected, here’s an idea of timing for when storms are likely.

Starting Friday morning no severe weather is expected, but a cluster of storms is likely to track through Mid-Missouri through the early morning hours until about 10 AM.

Severe storm development is likely (if the cap can break) from 5 to 8 PM. Storm activity should die down as the evening progresses.

Starting Saturday, most of the morning will be on the dry side and the atmosphere will be primed and ready to go. Depending on how Friday plays out will play a big role in our severe weather threat for Saturday. If the outflow boundary from storms Friday quickly destabilizes the air and keeps the unstable air at bay through the night, our severe threat will diminish Saturday.

It will still be there and still be concerning, but not as concerning as if we see no rain Friday. Saturday the greatest threat for storms arrives from 2 to 8 PM, when the greatest threat for storms arises. From 8 PM until midnight, storms can still be fueled from a strengthening lower level jet.


Friday storms:

– Low tornado threat

– Quarter size hail

– Damaging winds up to 60 mph.

Saturday storms:

– Likely to see tornado reports along and south of Hwy 50. For those at the lake for the holiday period, please be weather aware as this is an area of extreme concern for severe storms.

– Hail up to tennis ball size possible.

– Damaging winds in excess of 70 mph.

What to know:

It’s important to be weather aware as we head into the weekend, as this has the potential to be a major severe weather event.

It wouldn’t be surprising if we see areas from the Lake of the Ozarks and southwestward placed under a moderate risk of severe weather as we await the Day 2 outlook. Keep in mind that hail up to tennis ball size can do major damage and with the severe weather parameters in place now we watch and see what happens. This forecast can and likely will change until we head through the day on Saturday.

Stay with ABC 17 News as we continue to update you regarding this severe weather event and make a note to download our ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather App on Itunes or Google Play.

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