Tornado Watch issued for Southeast Tennessee counties

Tornado Watch issued for Southeast Tennessee counties

March 23rd, 2011 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

The Chattanooga sky this afternoon remained overcast.

Photo by Harrison Keely/Times Free Press.

Several counties in Southeast Tennessee are under a tornado watch according to the Weather Channel:

Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties are under alert.

Strong damaging winds and hail the size of a golf ball or baseball is expected.

The tornado watch is in effect until 10 p.m.

A strong cold front pushing into Tennessee from the Ohio Valley is bringing with it a slight risk of severe thunderstorms in Tennessee.

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement for Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening for Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee. A chance of severe thunderstorms will exist mainly along and east of Interstate 24 and along and north of a line from Murfreesboro eastward to Spencer on Wednesday afternoon.

Strong, gusty winds and hail are the main concerns, but formation of tornadoes can't be ruled out.

No storm statements were issued for West Tennessee, but river flooding continues on the Mississippi River, backing up smaller rivers that flow through the western part of the state.

-Associated Press