A tornado watch was issued for the Joplin area and surrounding counties at 1:14 p.m. today by the National Weather Service forecast office at Springfield.
A tornado watch mean conditions are favorable for the development of a tornado.
The watch is set to expire at 9 p.m.
Scattered supercell thunderstorms, capable of producing hail the size of tennis balls, wind damage and a few tornadoes, are expected to develop across the region this afternoon.
The storms will track from Kansas and Oklahoma into Missouri late this afternoon, most likely between 3 and 6 p.m. in the Joplin area.