Image courtesy of the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.

Widespread showers and thunderstorms are projected to hit a large portion of the KMZU listening area on Tuesday and Wednesday.  A significant storm system is expected to develop during the late evening and overnight hours with the potential for more severe weather the following day.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Ryan Cutter, a meteorologist with National Weather Service Office in Pleasant Hill:

Ryan Cutter

According to Cutter, Tuesday’s primary threats are strong winds and hail.  “There’s a broad area of thunderstorms, which could include some large hail with some of the largest storms late tonight.  We can expect the rain to continue through the early morning hours.  Wednesday afternoon we are looking for a warm front to lift into the area, which will bring additional threats with it.”

Cutter said the storm system could produce damaging winds and isolated tornadoes Wednesday afternoon and evening.  “It’s not looking like a widespread outbreak, but we just can’t rule out the possibility that some of these discrete super cells that might develop could have a tornado.  However, we cannot pinpoint with that kind of accuracy at this time.”

Cutter said winds could gust as high as 20 miles per hour at the height of the storm.  He expects between two and four inches of rain over the next 24 to 48 hours.

A flash flood watch was issued shortly before 4:00 p.m. Tuesday.  The advisory is in effect from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday evening.