Tornado watch in effect

Published 12:24 am Thursday, January 31, 2013

The National Weather Service has announced that a tornado watch is in effect for Suffolk until 5 a.m. Thursday.

Suffolk and much of eastern Virginia and North Carolina were placed under the watch at 11:55 p.m. Wednesday as a deadly storm tracked into the area from the west.

The watch was in effect for the Virginia counties of Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, King And Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Surry, Westmoreland and York and for the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.

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The tornado watch updated a Hazardous Weather Outlook warning that had been in effect for much of the evening on Wednesday.

“Gusty south to southwest winds of 35 to 45 mph are expected through this evening ahead of an approaching strong cold front the west, forecasters said in the Hazardous Weather Outlook statement. “There is the potential for localized damaging wind gusts and moderate rainfall as the front crosses the area this evening and tonight,” the statement concluded.