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Tornadoes, hail, wind, lightning possible this evening; Hall schools to end events by 7 p.m.
Severe weather expected from 3 p.m. to midnight
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The National Weather Service on Monday, March 19, added areas of Georgia at risk of significant storms. While Northwest Georgia remained most at risk as of about 1 p.m., most of metro Atlanta stretching up to South Hall County is now in the path of coming storms. Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service.

Tornadoes, large hail and strong winds are in the forecast between 3 p.m. and midnight on Monday, March 19.

Hall County Schools have decided to wrap up all school events by 7 p.m. as a precaution.

The National Weather Service is warning Georgians about severe thunderstorms across the state to start the week. The worst of the storms will hit Northwest Georgia on Monday, but the entire state is under an advisory. Metro Atlanta and South Hall are now included in the zone of “enhanced risk” for severe storms.

“As usual, we’re on the line,” said Casey Ramsey, interim director of the Hall County emergency management agency, after a 1 p.m. storm briefing from the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Primary threats include tornadoes, “very large hail” of up to 2 inches — or about the size of a hen’s egg — winds stronger than 60 mph and frequent lightning, according to the National Weather Service.

The worst of the storms on Monday are likely to hit after 6 p.m., though the advisory is in effect at least until midnight. Tornado watches have not yet been issued for the state, according to the 1 p.m. briefing.

Updates can be found from the National Weather Service website.

Two groups of supercell storms will pass over Georgia in the next 24 hours — one across North Georgia and the second across Middle and South Georgia.

“Later this afternoon through this evening, a more organized line of severe thunderstorms will move from Alabama into northwest and west-central Georgia,” states the NWS forecast. “It is along and ahead of this line where all modes of severe weather exist, including tornadoes, large hail potentially greater than 2 inches, and damaging winds in excess of 70 MPH. Heavy rainfall and frequent lightning will also occur. Expect the potential for severe weather to be its highest between 5 PM and 2 AM Tuesday morning.”

Local power outage maps are available from Georgia Power and Jackson Electric Membership Corp.

“We have about 20 people on call, so that’s double what we normally have,” said April Sorrow, spokeswoman for Jackson EMC. “Those are people who are not already working who can come in.”

Regional events