Fire and severe weather concerns today

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weather-2-28There are two primary concerns for today: fire and severe weather. Already gusty winds this morning will persist and perhaps strengthen a bit more this afternoon. Gusty winds combined with dry conditions will create a heightened fire weather concern for many locations this afternoon, and critical conditions expected specifically within the Red Flag Warning (includes the entire Kansas City metro area as well as counties south and west). For this evening into tonight, the concern then becomes the chance for strong to potentially severe thunderstorms developing along and ahead of a cold front dropping down from the northwest. Locations from Unionville through the Kansas City metro area as well as locations south and east have the greatest chances of seeing any storm that develops becoming strong to severe. The primary hazards with these stronger storms will be gusty to damaging winds and hail. Here’s the 7-day forecast from the National Weather Service:

Today: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. South southwest wind 13 to 16 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms likely before midnight, then a chance of rain, mainly between midnight and 3 a.m. Cloudy, with a low around 36. Northwest wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 50. West northwest wind 13 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 28. Northwest wind 5 to 11 mph becoming southwest after midnight.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 52. Southwest wind 7 to 17 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 26.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 56.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 40.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 67.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 48.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 69.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 47.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 63.