STORM ALERT DAY: Severe weather possible this afternoon; some schools closing

The FOX 5 Storm Team is tracking the potential for severe weather in Georgia for Wednesday afternoon and evening.

A number of school systems in north Georgia have closed or plan to dismiss early Wednesday because of the severe weather threat. Catoosa, Dade and Walker County schools have closed for the day. Gordon County Schools will begin dismissal at 11:30 a.m., and all afternoon activities have been canceled. Calhoun City and Whitfield County schools will release Pre-K, primary and elementary school students at 11:30 a.m. and middle and high school students at noon. Murray County schools will release Pre-K students at 11:30 a.m. and all others at noon.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST SCHOOL CLOSING INFORMATION

A powerful line of storms is expected to move through the area beginning Wednesday afternoon, with the biggest threat being damaging winds. However, large hail, deadly lightning and even the threat of a quick spin-up of a weak tornado cannot be ruled out as the strong storms pass.

This potential for severe weather comes after storms turned deadly in the Midwest on Tuesday.

MORE: At least 2 dead after tornadoes roll through Midwest

APP USERS: Watch forecast here

The areas at greatest risk for severe weather Wednesday are in the northwest portion of the state. People living in Polk, Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, Chattooga, Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray, Gilmer and Fannin counties should be weather aware as they are under an “enhanced” risk for severe storms (a 3 on a scale of 1-5).

The rest of the state cannot rule out the chance for severe weather, with much of Georgia facing a “slight” risk (a 2 on a scale of 1-5), according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Right now, the forecast models show the strongest of the storms moving into northwest Georgia after 3 p.m., coming from the northwest.

The evening rush hour is expected to be greatly impacted in the metro area. The current timing of the line of storms through metro Atlanta is roughly between 4-8 p.m.

Storms will exit the area a couple of hours after sunset. Clearing skies and cooler temperatures will be the story for tonight – with cooler temperatures expected into the weekend (including lows in the 30s Friday and Saturday mornings).

Keep up with the latest watches and warnings by downloading the FREE FOX 5 Storm Team app and following @FOX5StormTeam on Twitter.

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