The National Weather Service has just issued a Tornado Watch for Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Western Kentucky through 6 PM. This is designated with the three letters we don't want to see - PDS, or Particularly Dangerous Situation.
Their bulletin states:
DESTRUCTIVE TORNADOES...LARGE HAIL TO 2.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER... THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.
They also add,
TSTMS DEVELOPING ALONG AND AHEAD OF COLD FRONT OVER SERN MO/W-CNTRL IL ARE EXPECTED TO EVOLVE INTO INTENSE SUPERCELLS CAPABLE OF LONG-TRACKED...SIGNIFICANT TORNADOES. LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS ARE ALSO LIKELY.
Cape Girardeau is right on the edge between a Slight Risk and Medium Risk of severe storms today. Thankfully we've avoided the High Risk zone, pegged for Central Kentucky and North Central Tennessee.
The greatest threat for Southeast Missouri appears to be large hail. We have a 45% chance of seeing 1-inch or larger hail within 25 miles, and at least a 10% chance of 2-inch hail within 25 miles.
Keep a close eye on the weather for the next few hours until this mess has moved through.