FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) - Everything seems to be coming together for some much-needed rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

Clouds kept us cool and somewhat stable the first half of Tuesday, but the clouds have cleared off allowing for abundant energy to build over the central plains including much of Kansas and western Missouri. Here’s a look at how the surface features were setting up as we headed into Tuesday evening.

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Two key features with regard to Tuesday night’s rain chances are visible on the map above. One is the cold front over the northern plains that is slowly moving south. The second feature is an area of low pressure over Oklahoma that is drifting north.

The cold front and the low-pressure area coming together should be the spark needed to ignite rain and scattered thunderstorms Tuesday evening. Then overnight the rain and thunder will become more widespread. As of mid-afternoon, on the radar & satellite composite map, there was a lot of moisture in the form of clouds streaming into Kansas and Nebraska just ahead of the cold front.

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There was also a lot of clear sky over north-central Kansas and northwest Missouri. Earlier Tuesday, some decaying showers created a couple of subtle boundaries where showers and thunderstorms may form Tuesday evening. Any thunderstorm that forms Tuesday evening could develop quickly and then with little warning, collapse creating some damaging downburst winds.

Later into the evening and overnight, as the low-pressure area in Oklahoma and the cold front across the northern plains converge, widespread rain and thunderstorms will become more likely. There will also be the threat of large hail, damaging wind gusts and flash flooding.

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So here’s the forecast for Tuesday evening, overnight & Wednesday:

Tuesday Evening: Increasing clouds, a 50% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms by midnight. Temperatures in the low 80s.

Overnight: Rain & thunderstorms likely. Some gusty winds, heavy rain and large hail will be possible. Temperatures fall into the low 70s.

Wednesday: A period of morning rain and thunder followed by clearing afternoon skies. Temperatures warm into the low to mid 80s.

Here’s a general idea of how much rain could fall by Wednesday afternoon.

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Look again at the map above and notice there are areas near Kansas City in a dark purple shaded contour. If you look at the corresponding legend just underneath the rainfall forecast banner, you will see the purple contour corresponds with one to three inches of rain.

In other words, while a general half inch of rain is likely, isolated pockets of much heavier rain will be possible. So, again as we head into Tuesday night, the weather is setting up to give us a generous, much needed overnight and morning of rain.

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