A strong cold front is poised to fire off thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, with high winds, large hail, and tornadoes all possible.
The projections from the Storm Prediction Center show that most of Southeast Missouri has a 5% chance of being within 25 miles of a tornado. The Bootheel and points to the south are at a higher risk (10%).
Meanwhile, the threat of high winds is elevated: Areas south of Cape Girardeau have a 30% chance of being within 25 miles of a storm that produces severe wind gusts (58 mph or worse). The rest of Southeast Missouri has a 15% chance.
This morning's Hazardous Weather Outlook from the National Weather Service in Paducah says:
SUSTAINED SOUTHERLY WINDS OF AROUND 20 MPH...GUSTING TO 35 MPH AND POSSIBLY 40 MPH...CAN BE EXPECTED TODAY AHEAD OF A FAST-MOVING COLD FRONT. SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP IN THE VICINITY OF THIS FRONT...MAINLY IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SOME STORMS MIGHT REACH SEVERE LIMITS...MAINLY IN SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI...SOUTHERN ILLINOIS...AND THE PURCHASE AREA OF KENTUCKY. DAMAGING WIND GUSTS WILL BE THE PRIMARY HAZARD. STORM MOVEMENT WILL BE TOWARD THE NORTHEAST AT 45 TO 50 MPH.
Once we get through this round, the weather looks gorgeous for the weekend and early next week.