Tornado watch extended to 1 a.m.; severe weather remains

lfabian@macon.comJanuary 30, 2013 

Some of the worst weather has passed Middle Georgia, but much of the area will remain under a tornado watch now extended through 1 a.m. Thursday.

Some areas remained under severe thunderstorm warnings through Wednesday evening.

In tornado watches, people should be alert to changing weather conditions and look for approaching storms. Signs of danger include a dark or greenish sky; large hail; a large, dark, low-lying cloud that could be rotating; or a loud roar like a freight train. If you see the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says.

If a tornado is spotted or a tornado warning is issued, the National Weather Service says people in the path of the storm should move to a basement or interior room on the ground floor, staying away from windows. If driving, do not seek shelter under a highway overpass. If you are in a mobile home or vehicle, evacuate and get to a shelter or lie flat in a ditch or other low spot.

The National Weather Service also issued a wind advisory for most of the state through midnight for sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts to 40 miles per hour. Winds Wednesday evening were expected up to 50 mph.

Meteorologists warn isolated tornadoes could be possible with the squall line headed for the state.

Strong winds will develop Wednesday morning ahead of the front and are expected to increase in the afternoon as showers and thunderstorms develop.

Gusty winds are also possible outside of showers and storms.

Drought-stressed trees are susceptible and others could topple in soft ground from recent rains.

Up to two inches of rain is possible in Macon and a flood watch is posted for much of north Georgia through Wednesday night.

Tornadoes could develop with very little notice and are expected to be brief.

The most intense storms are expected in North Georgia on Wednesday morning, in metro Atlanta by mid-afternoon and into Middle Georgia by early evening.

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