Kansas Citians will not want to stray too far from their rain gear the next two days as several rounds of storms will bring the week to a dreary and soggy end.
Heavy rains are headed into the Kansas City area, bringing between 2 to 4 inches of rain along with a chance of flash flooding and river flooding.
“We may luck out down here in the metro,” said Spencer Mell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill. “But we are not out of the woods yet. The (forecast) models haven’t quite fine tuned where exactly that heaviest axis is going to set up.”
On Thursday morning, a warm front lifting north across the Kansas City area brought light showers and drizzle across the metro area and portions of central Missouri.
“It’s just kind of a cloudy, dreary day,” Mell said.
By Thursday night, the warm front is expected to be stretched out across the U.S. 36 corridor from St. Joseph to Moberly, Mo. An area of relatively strong winds in the lower atmosphere will develop bringing several rounds of heavy rains along the warm front.
“Along that front and north of that front, that’s where we will see the heaviest rains,” Mell said. “Through tonight and into tomorrow, we’re going to see several rounds of storms which could lead to anywhere between 2 and 4 inches of precipitation across northern Missouri.”
In the Kansas City area, the storms could bring 1 to 3 inches of rain, with heavier rains across the northern part of the metropolitan area.
“A lot depends on where this warm front ends up as we get into the evening hours tonight as to where that heaviest axis of precipitation falls,” Spencer said. “If it doesn’t quite make it as far north during the day today, then the metro could see higher amounts.”
Storms are expected to bring another round of heavy rains through the Kansas City area Friday night.
“What’s concerning about that is we could have already 2 to 4 inches of rain on the ground with another third round of heavier rain on Friday night and Saturday morning,” Mell said. “It’s a really complex situation.”
People should monitor the forecast. For now, a flood watch has been issued across northern Missouri, but it could be expanded southward into the Kansas City metro area.
“What that would mean is that we could see areas of flooding, especially along low lying areas and area rivers,” Mell said. “We can’t rule out some localized flash flooding with these heavier storms because they are going to be very, very efficient.”
Drivers who encounter flooded roads shouldn’t drive through the water.
“We’ve already seen earlier this summer what could happen when people do drive through those,” Mell said. “We wind up with water rescues and very dangerous situations. Heed any warnings that are out there.”