Our long streak without rain or thunderstorms is about to end as we head into Wednesday. A passing cold front will bring our first chance for severe weather in quite some time. When we forecast for severe storms we look for three things to be present in the atmosphere: moisture, lift and instability.
On Wednesday there is enough moisture to help storms get going ahead of the cold front. Southerly winds have helped pump in plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Wind shear is limited in our atmosphere heading into Wednesday, which could help inhibit strong and widespread storms to develop. Even though wind shear is limited, there is plenty of instability. With the amount of instability expected for Wednesday we could still see scattered storms by Wednesday night as the cold front drops.
Considering all of these conditions, most areas of mid-Missouri are now under a slight risk for severe weather for Wednesday evening. This indicates that we will likely see scattered thunderstorms, with hail and damaging winds being our primary concern. This system will track slowly through mid-Missouri leading to a continued threat for a few thunderstorms early Thursday morning. Our next chance of severe weather comes into play Thursday evening where a marginal threat for severe weather is forecasted for our southern counties.