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Tornado watch in effect until 9 p.m.

A tornado watch has been issued for the area, including Suffolk, Franklin, and the counties of Southampton, Isle of Wight and Surry.

The tornado watch was issued just after 5 p.m. and is in effect until 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service Wakefield office.

There is an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms this evening, the Wakefield office said. Threats include damaging wind gusts, large hail and the potential for tornadoes.

People should listen to NOAA Weather Radio or go to weather.gov for more information.

A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. By contrast, a tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted or indicated on radar.

In the event of a tornado warning, you should go to your basement or safe room if you have one, or an interior room away from windows. If you are in a mobile home, outside or in a vehicle, seek shelter inside a sturdy building immediately.