published Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Storms, wind gusts forecast across East Tennessee

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The National Weather service has issued a wind advisory in effect from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the region.

Winds will be 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

Areas of northeast Georgia with higher elevations can expect winds of 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.

These strong winds often bring even stronger winds behind them.

"We can't rule out an isolated tornado," said Alex Gibbs, National Weather Service meteorologist in Peachtree City, Ga.

Gibbs advises keeping a weather radio close by to listen for weather updates.

And if you're out on the road, drive slowly.

"High profile vehicles will be harder to drive in high winds," he said.

Winds up to 60 mph are expected as a storm system rolls into East Tennessee today.

Forecasters say there could be heavy rain, but it will be short-lived because the storms will be moving rapidly.

National Weather Service forecasters say the storm system will run into increasingly unstable air and very strong winds to produce severe thunderstorms in West Tennessee and a moderate risk of tornadoes and straight-line wind damage.

The weather service also has issued a flood watch through today for parts of northeast Georgia, where forecasts call for up to 2.5 inches of rain — and higher amounts possible in some areas.

The flood watch covers seven counties and includes the cities of Blairsville, Dahlonega and Cleveland, Ga.

In Alabama, forecasts showed storms developing in western Alabama during the predawn hours today, with the threat continuing through early afternoon in eastern Alabama.

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