3 PM UPDATE: Advancing storm poses risk for flood, high winds and possible tornado

While the weather in the Toccoa/Stephens County area has remained mild today, with little sign of the severe storm forecasted by the National Weather Service, the Hazardous Weather Outlook published this morning by ConnectLocal.News is still active. In addition, at 2:35 p.m. The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for the area starting tomorrow morning.

"An increasingly moist southerly flow of air ahead of an approaching cold front will promote progressively widespread shower activity through Thursday. Rainfall is likely to fall heavy at times beginning tonight leading to the potential for flooding and landslides in the mountains," announced the NWS alert, advising of "Excessive rainfall," with the flash flood watch remaining in effect from tomorrow morning, Feb. 6, through tomorrow evening.

"The threat for heavy and/or excessive rainfall will be on the increase Thursday morning. Rapid rises on streams and creeks are likely to occur along with the threat of flooded roads. Flooding is also likely to occur on larger rivers which would linger through Friday. Storm total rainfall through Thursday evening may be as much as 2 or 3 inches across the area with locally higher amounts possible across the escarpment of South Carolina," the alert warns.

At 7 a.m. this morning, NOAA’s National Weather Service released the latest update to the hazardous weather outlook that has predicted heavy storms and possible flooding for Stephens County since early in the week.

Heavy rain along the front edge of a slow-moving cold front are expected to begin this evening, with the strong cold front moving through the northeast Georgia region beginning tomorrow.

“Enough rain may fall to raise the potential for flooding along creeks, streams, and low-lying areas,” advises NWS. “A Flood Watch will likely be issued. Thunderstorms are also possible as the cold front crosses the region Thursday and Thursday evening. Some of the thunderstorms could be strong to sever with damaging wind gusts.”

The hazardous weather outlook closes with a warning of the possibility of a tornado to accompany the storm.

“A brief, isolated tornado will be possible mainly along and south and east of Interstate 85,” they advise.

NOAA’s National Weather Service weather forecast for the rest of the week:

Today: Showers likely, mainly before 10am. Patchy fog before 1pm. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 67. Southwest wind around 7 mph becoming south southeast in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Tonight: Showers. The rain could be heavy at times. Patchy fog after 9pm. Low around 60. Southeast wind 6 to 9 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Thursday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 66. Southwest wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 2 and 3 inches possible.

Thursday Night: Showers, mainly before midnight. Low around 41. Light west southwest wind becoming west 8 to 13 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 47. West wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 33.

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