Middle Georgia under tornado watch until this afternoon as severe storms roll through

A long line of severe weather has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a series of alerts for Middle Georgia residents today.

Most of Middle Georgia is under a tornado watch until 1 p.m., as the storms roll through the area: Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Crawford, Hancock, Houston, Jones, Laurens, Monroe, Peach, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties should all stay alert severe weather until early this afternoon.

Weather could include up to golf ball-sized hall and winds up to 70 mph.

The most significant alert was a tornado warning in Baldwin and Hancock counties that expired at 8:15 a.m. Baldwin County were also under a severe thunderstorm warning until 8:30 a.m. The NWS warns the storm could contain golf ball-sized hail.

Residents should take the following precautions, according to the NWS:

  • Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building

  • Avoid windows

  • If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris

Tornado watch vs warning

There is a distinction between a tornado watch and tornado warning. According to the National Weather Service, “A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area.

Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.”

A tornado warning means a tornado has been seen or indicated by weather radar, and there is “imminent danger to life and property.”