Tornado Watch issued as intense storms, rain pound Southeast
Damaging wind gusts, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible from the northern Gulf Coast to the Southeast
Severe thunderstorms, including the threat of tornadoes, and heavy rain capable of flash flooding will batter the Southeast through Saturday.
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Tornado Watch for parts of southern Alabama, Georgia and the northern half of Florida for the threat of isolated tornadoes in convection moving ashore from the Gulf of Mexico.
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Meteorologists warn damaging wind gusts are the main threat, but they can't rule out isolated tornadoes, especially in the watch box area.
Here's what to expect from the storms through Saturday. Be sure to download the FOX Weather app for the latest forecast and weather alerts for your exact location, plus our channel's 24/7 livestream.
Severe weather threat
Storms will impact North Florida, southeastern Georgia and eastern Carolinas, before moving offshore into the Atlantic.
Damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes are the main threats in those areas.
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The severe weather risk might continue later into the afternoon farther south across portions of Central Florida, where the front will be slower to exit the Atlantic coast of the Sunshine State.
Flash flooding threat
In addition to the severe thunderstorms, heavy rain capable of flash flooding is also a concern in the Southeast.
The heaviest downpours will likely target North Florida and South Georgia, where 2 to 3-plus inches of additional rainfall is possible through Saturday.
Areas of flash flooding could also materialize in other portions of the Southeast where any heavier bands of rain and thunderstorms stall for an extended period of time.
The good news is that the deluge will help firefighting efforts across the Florida Panhandle, where three large wildfires called the Chipola Complex have been burning for more than a week in areas still covered with debris left behind by Hurricane Michael in 2018.
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