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Though severe weather is expected today, most high school graduations held outdoors should stay relatively dry since the worst of the storms are expected to roll through late in the afternoon, local meteorologists said.

"It will probably be another late afternoon rain, probably between 4 and 8 p.m.," said Craig Carpenter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn.

At least a dozen high schools in Hamilton County are holding graduation ceremonies today -- some indoors, some out -- with others slated in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia.

A cold front that made its way into the region Friday is expected to stick around through about Tuesday, with the possibility for severe weather including tornadoes, hail and damaging winds, said Allison Chinchar, a meteorologist for WTVC NewsChannel9.

UPCOMING FORECAST

* Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High near 85, low around 66.

* Sunday: 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High near 83, low around 65.

* Monday: Cloudy with a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High near 80, low around 62.

* Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High near 78, low around 60.

Source: National Weather Service/NewsChannel 9

The three-day rainfall accumulation is expected to be between 1 and 2 inches of rain, she said, but there is a possibility some of the showers will be as heavy as 3 to 5 inches of rain per hour.

Storms are expected to span from Huntsville, Ala., to Northwest Georgia to the western edge of Knoxville, Ms. Chinchar said.

"Nashville is still included and so is Memphis," she said. "It's kind of circling the entire state of Tennessee without including Knoxville."

Vaughn Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., said North Georgians should expect showers and thunderstorms throughout the weekend, with the highest chance for hail and gusty winds Monday.

"This is normal summertime Georgia stuff," he said. "It's nothing out of the ordinary."

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