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Florida and Georgia Under Tornado Watch: Severe Weather Threat

URGENT WEATHER ALERT: The National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, has issued a Tornado Watch for significant portions of the Florida Panhandle, Southwest Georgia, and adjacent coastal waters. This watch is in effect from 2:05 PM until 7:00 PM EST on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Residents in these areas are advised to be on high alert as the primary threats include the possibility of a few tornadoes and scattered damaging wind gusts reaching up to 70 mph. A fast-moving line of thunderstorms, extending from the Florida Panhandle southward into the Gulf, is expected to track eastward across the watch area this afternoon. This storm system poses a risk of locally damaging winds and the potential for one or two tornadoes.

The tornado watch area covers a zone approximately 50 statute miles north and south of a line extending from 5 miles west southwest of Panama City, Florida, to 25 miles east northeast of Tallahassee, Florida. For a complete depiction of the watch, residents can refer to the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU2).

Precautionary and preparedness actions are strongly recommended. A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms near the watch area. Individuals in these regions should remain vigilant, monitor the weather conditions, and listen for any further statements and possible warnings from weather officials.

In terms of aviation, the weather conditions could lead to tornadoes and severe thunderstorms with hail at the surface and aloft up to 0.5 inches. Extreme turbulence and surface wind gusts up to 60 knots are possible. A few cumulonimbus clouds with maximum tops reaching up to 450 are also expected. The mean storm motion vector is 24040.

The risk areas have been categorized as 'Slight' and 'Marginal' by the NWS. The 'Slight Risk' area includes around 11,654 square miles and affects an estimated population of 814,177, encompassing major population centers like Tallahassee and Panama City in Florida, and Thomasville in Georgia. The 'Marginal Risk' area is significantly larger, covering 122,892 square miles and affecting over 21 million people, including cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, Montgomery, Columbus, and Knoxville.

Residents in these areas are advised to stay informed and prepared for severe weather conditions, including the possibility of severe thunderstorms through the early evening, particularly in the Florida Panhandle and far southwest Georgia. Isolated strong to severe storms may also extend into East Tennessee and the western/central Carolinas. Stay tuned to local weather stations and alerts for the latest updates and instructions.



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