ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis metropolitan area had remained under a tornado watch until it expires at 10 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service, but many warnings have already passed through the area.

Tornado warnings had been issued for Franklin, Crawford and Washington counties in Missouri and Greene County in Illinois within the 5 p.m. hours. Those warnings have now been downgraded to watches.

When a tornado warning is issued, a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar and there is imminent danger to life and property. If you’re in the area of a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.

During a tornado watch, atmospheric conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop, but a tornado has not yet been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

The St. Louis Metropolitan is under a Level-4 risk for severe weather through late Friday. Mother Nature means business on Friday, as winds will become quite gusty from the south as temperatures climb towards 70 degrees. Severe weather threats include 70 to 80 miles per hour winds, some large hail, and even the chance of quick hitting tornadoes. 

Potential timeline for several weather….

  • Noon to 6 p.m.: Troy, Missouri and other nearby areas to the north and west.
  • 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.: St. Louis metropolitan area and all counties surrounding St. Louis City and County.
  • 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Much of the Metro East, including Vandalia, Sparta and nearby communities.

Much of the region has been upgraded to a Level-4 out of 5 severe weather risk for Friday afternoon and the evening as parameters continue to look more and more favorable for isolated to scattered very intense thunderstorms.  These storms, although not impacting every community, will be capable of destructive winds, and even a few strong, long-track tornadoes are possible.

The main risk for storms is Friday afternoon and evening, from noon to 9:00 p.m. Expect a couple of waves of thunderstorms. They will be scattered, meaning not everyone sees them. However, where they hit, they will be intense and fast moving.   

People throughout the region need to be very weather aware Friday and have a way to frequently get updates on the weather situation.  These storms will develop in is scattered/isolated fashion and then race to the northeast with forward motions of 60+ mph.  

This means many of the typical visual cues you see of an approaching storm may not be apparent until moments before they hit. Warning times may be shorter than normal today as a result. So wherever you are, please be thinking, “Where would I go if I need to shelter?”

This is a day to remain weather aware and make sure you have your notifications turned on for the FOX 2 Weather app. Meteorologist Chris Higgins will be chasing the storms. Stay tuned to FOX 2’s news app and Facebook page for alerts and live video.

Check FOX 2’s traffic map for real-time updates.

After Friday

Much colder air moves in behind the storms overnight and into Saturday, and we’ll see some strong non-thunderstorm winds. Northwestern winds with gusts of 40 to 50 miles per hour are expected into Saturday morning. A Wind Advisory will be in effect from 1:00 p.m. Friday to 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Heads up especially to Cardinals and St. Louis City SC fans headed to games on Saturday. 

High temps Saturday will be in the low 50s. Winds ease for a bit Saturday night and it’s cold. We wake up Sunday in the mid 30s. We will warm up significantly Sunday as gusty south winds kick up, highs in the mid to upper 60s. Highs in the 70s Monday.