The chance of severe weather Wednesday in Pettis County has dropped to only 15 percent as of Tuesday afternoon, but the county is still on the edge of an Enhanced Risk area.
Pettis County has been moved from an Enhanced Risk area — numerous severe storms possible — to a Slight Risk area — scattered severe storms possible.
“We have dropped down to about a 15 percent chance but we’re right on the edge of 15 to 30 percent. Part of the good news and bad news is 30 percent isn’t all that far away — it starts in Saline County,” said Sedalia-Pettis County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Clippert. “While looking at it, storms are expected to form in eastern Kansas around 10 (Wednesday) morning and then move eastward.
“The National Weather Service has pretty high confidence between 12 and 3 (p.m.) we will get the storm that will come through Pettis County. Isolated tornadoes, it’s not a widespread tornado event, but pretty strong wind is a portion of this — we could see winds hitting 60 possibly 70 mph (Wednesday) if the storm comes through us.”
Clippert added that heavy rain is not expected with Wednesday’s storms, but there will be a “very large amount” of lightning regardless of the severity of the storm.
In an email from Clippert, he noted the highest risk of tornadoes is north of Pettis into Saline County.
Clippert said the forecast could be adjusted again early Wednesday morning but that the NWS had “pretty high confidence” the predicted storm would occur between noon and 3 p.m.
“It’s going to be a windy day tomorrow. We could have 25 to 30 mph wind gusts taking place before any storms get here,” he said. “That’s something to remember, it’s not a good day to burn tomorrow before the storm. Keep in the back of your mind, winds can whip up fire pretty quickly.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.