COLUMBIA — A severe thunderstorm watch has been posted for much of the western half of Missouri until 9 p.m. The watch does not include Boone County, but does extend to its western boundary at the Missouri River.
The National Weather Service is forecasting scattered thunderstorms across the region through this evening, and some of the storms could produce large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. Locally heavy rain that could cause flash flooding is also possible. South to southeast winds will gust to around 40 mph through this evening.
The 911 Joint Communications Center reported this afternoon that the usual low-lying roads in the area were flooded.
The closed roads included Blackfoot Road, Tri-City Road at Route CC, the 5100 block of Bonne Femme Church Road, Brown School Road west of Range Line Road and Akeman Bridge Road at Perche Creek.
Additional road closures, as of 2 p.m. today, include: Brushwood Lake Road at Scott Boulevard; and Dripping Springs Road at Stone Drive.
"This list may grow before it's all over," said Chuck Mastalski, a supervisor at the Joint Communications Center.
Numerous state roads in Howard, Chariton and other counties to the west of Columbia were affected by flooding, the Weather Service reported.
The Missouri Department of Transportation provides the latest information on road closures online at: modot.org.
In the Columbia area, storms with locally heavy rain and possibly severe weather remained in the forecast into tonight.
The Weather Service said the greatest threat for severe weather will be southeast of mid-Missouri along and south of a line from St. Louis to Steelville. Some severe storms may produce large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.
The Weather Service issued a word of caution, noting that most flood deaths occur in automobiles and that vehicles shouldn't be driven into places where water covers the road.
The severe weather threat was expected to end tonight as drier air filters into the region.
The spring-like temperatures on Thursday — Sanborn Field recorded 74 degrees at mid-afternoon — were forecast to give way to windy and much cooler conditions on Friday and into the weekend.
There's even a mention of snow in the forecast. The Weather Service in St. Louis said scattered showers are likely Saturday morning, and said it will be cold enough for the showers to be snow at times.
"It's possible that some of the snow showers could be heavy enough to briefly turn the ground white," the Weather Service reported at mid-afternoon Thursday, "but any real accumulations look unlikely at this