Eastern Jackson County is part of a large area in the middle of country under a tornado watch this evening.

A watch means conditions for favorable for tornadoes. Also, tornado warnings have been posted for parts of Oklahoma and Texas, meaning radar has detected or trained weather spotters have seen funnel clouds or tornadoes.

In Missouri, the tornado watch covers 45 counties – an area roughly south and west of an arc from St. Joseph to Boonville to West Plains – and lasts until 3 a.m. That area includes the state’s southwest corner, including Joplin, which was devastated by an EF5 strength tornado on Sunday.

Strong tornadoes have been reported this evening in Oklahoma, and that system is affecting the Kansas City area, too. The Weather Service advises people to be on the lookout for severe weather this evening and have their weather radios on or ready.

A “widespread tornado outbreak” was likely in south-central Kansas and central and eastern Oklahoma into the evening, the Weather Service said this morning. The tornadoes were expected to be strong and long-lived.

Although Kansas City is outside the area expected to get the worst weather, a Kansas-Oklahoma line of storms – possibly weakened – could reach here around midnight or 1 a.m. Still, they could hold the potential for high winds and tornadoes.

The worst threat of severe weather pushes off to the southeast of Kansas City on Wednesday, but it’s still possible here.

Officials also are keeping an eye on rising rivers, including the Missouri, which is headed toward flood stage at Sibley. Flood stage there is 22 feet, and the river was estimated at 20 feet this morning but it expected to crest at 25 feet on Saturday. That could mean flooding in low-lying areas and areas unprotected by levees. Overall, the river is expected to exceed flood stage from Leavenworth to Boonville.

National Weather Service: www.crh.noaa.gov/eax/