SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —
A tornado watch is in effect for the Joplin area until 8 p.m. today.
The watch, the first this year for Joplin, was issued about 1 p.m. by the National Weather Service forecast office at Springfield.
Andy Boxell, a meteorologist, said it likely the watch will end earlier than that for the Joplin area and Southeast Kansas.
“It’s over the Flint Hills now and will move east to northeast in the next couple of hours,’’ he said.
Though a watch suggests conditions will be ripe for a tornado sometime today, the risk for a tornado with this storm system is slight. There is a potential for hail larger than a quarter in size.
“We can expect strong, gusty winds as well. As anyone can see, there is a lot of wind energy out there today,’’ he said. “It’s 35 mph at the surface and 60 mph about 1,000 feet up.’’
The most recent tornado watch for the Joplin area occurred on Halloween.