5:07 p.m.: While initially forecasted to strike in the early afternoon, severe thunderstorms and high winds may not begin in Gwinnett County and metro Atlanta until midnight., Channel 2 Action News Meteorologist Brad Nitz said.
2:50 p.m.: Severe weather may hit Gwinnett County and metro Atlanta later than previously anticipated, according to Channel 2 Action News.
The first wave of thunderstorms, hail and high winds is now expected to hit the area around 4 p.m. All of metro Atlanta is in a tornado risk area, according to Channel 2. A tornado rated EF-2 or higher could form in the metro area.
The second wave of storms, first forecasted to hit after 9 p.m., will hold off until midnight, according to Channel 2.
Check back with AJC.com for updates to this developing weather story.
10:34 a.m.: Thunderstorms could begin as early as 2 p.m. in Gwinnett County and the rest of metro Atlanta, according to Channel 2 Action News Meteorologist Brian Monahan.
Agencies in Gwinnett County have warned residents of the forecasted severe weather, which includes the risk of tornadoes and hail as large as two inches in diameter. Wind gusts could exceed 60 miles per hour, Monahan said.
Severe thunderstorms are expected to affect the area this afternoon into tonight. Large hail, tornadoes, and damaging winds will all be possible. Be prepared to take action if a warning is issued for your area today!— Duluth Police Dept (@DuluthGAPolice) March 19, 2018
Please continue to monitor social media for any updates. pic.twitter.com/kh5a7kJqOX
The storm will hit the metro area in two phases. The first will begin at 2 p.m., extending through the evening, with scattered storms that “have the potential to turn strong to severe quickly,” Monahan said. The tornado risk will be highest in the afternoon and evening, and that risk will be higher in west Georgia than in metro Atlanta.
The second phase will begin after 9 p.m., with a “squall line” of storms that will last through 2 a.m. The risk of a tornado will diminish, but large hail and winds exceeding 60 miles per hour are possible, Monahan said.
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