Afternoon storms could be capable of producing a few tornadoes

LEVEL-3 RISK OF SEVERE WEATHER TODAY

Showers and thunderstorms will dot the skies late this morning before a cold front moves through late in the afternoon and into the early evening. That’s when storms could be powerful enough to be damaging. Large hail and straight-line winds to 70 mph will be possible, along with a few tornadoes. Storms will move from the southwest, so keep an eye to that direction as we go into the afternoon.

Above is a look at our Futuretrack computer model for the afternoon. I have also highlighted the area where I believe a few tornadoes will be possible.

Looking at the necessary storm ingredients, we definitely have a "storm trigger" in the form of a tightly-wound area of low pressure. We definitely have the "storm timing" as the low pressure heads in during the peak heat of the afternoon. However, we may not have all of the "storm energy" needed.
The map above shows the storm energy around the early afternoon when storms will be growing. Notice, there are some medium-high levels of energy, but there will be much higher amounts down toward St. Louis. That's where damaging winds will be a good bet today.

Even though one of the three ingredients is not a sure bet, please make sure you have a way to receive weather warnings. The StormTrack 8 Weather App is the perfect tool. Here's how to make sure you have the alerts turned on:

After today's storm risk, significant heat will build for late-week. The hottest days will be Friday and Saturday with projected highs in the middle 90s and heat index values as high as 110. Dangerous levels of heat will continue into the evening hours of both days making air conditioning a must for especially the elderly.

Strong thunderstorms are possible on Sunday as the heat wave breaks down.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen