Weather
4:25 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Despite Uncommon Weather Pattern, KC Area Tornado Watch Cancelled

Tornadoes are likely to develop in a storm system set to hit the Kansas City area Wednesday night.
Tornadoes are likely to develop in a storm system set to hit the Kansas City area Wednesday night.
Credit National Weather Service

6:50 pm update: National Weather Service cancels tornado watches for most of the Kansas City metro area. A watch remains in effect in Linn and Miami counties.

A storm system is developing over the Kansas City region that is more likely than not to produce tornadoes.

By reckoning of forecasters, the gathering of forces is unusual. 

Super-cells had already formed and fallen apart in areas of east central Missouri by mid-afternoon.

Most tornadoes are born in a rotating super-cell.  But only one in five super-cells create a tornado.  This comes from Andy Bailey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service serving Kansas City.

Bailey, with some 20 years of weather forecasting in his resume, says super-cell formation in this area doesn’t happen often. In his words, “usually, three to four days out of the year, conditions are right for super-cells to develop.”

Today is one of those days, said Bailey, but, "thus far, we’ve been having trouble getting them going.” The evening and night time hours could change that.

Bailey expects once a cap of warm air over the region lifts, chances for severe weather are enhanced.

There is a 60 percent chance two or more tornadoes will form over East Kansas or much of Missouri in the overnight.

Heavy rains of three to four inches could cause flash flooding.

High winds and hail could accompany storms.