Storm could bring hail, flooding and tornadoes to mid-Missouri

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | 12:28 p.m. CDT; updated 1:50 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

COLUMBIA — Heavy rain, wind, hail, flooding and tornadoes could hit mid-Missouri on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The service issued a tornado watch around 11 a.m., which will be in effect until 10 p.m. On Wednesday morning, it established a flash flood watch for Boone County.

Two to four inches of rain are predicted through Thursday. 

A warm front is moving north over mid-Missouri, with temperatures expected to reach upper 70s Wednesday.

“Especially today and tonight into tomorrow, people need to be sure to keep up to speed what’s happening with the weather and be ready to take action,” said Julie Phillipson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. "We want everyone to be safe."

In case of hail, getting indoors is important, Phillipson said. If a tornado watch is announced, residents should go to the lowest level of a building.

Motorists should avoid low-water crossings and should not attempt to cross roadways covered in water, according to a news release from Columbia/Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications.

Thunderstorms should come to an end Thursday night, according to the service's website.

The risk for severe weather stretches from north Texas into northern Illinois.

Columbia has accumulated 13.97 inches since January 1, 4.72 inches above average, according to the Columbia Regional Airport’s website.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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Bill Fisher April 17, 2013 | 6:23 p.m.

That's the most accurate headlight I've ever seen.

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