Note: This story was updated at 6:55 p.m. with a new tornado warning.
A tornado watch is in effect for the northern half of East Tennessee—including Anderson, Knox, and Roane counties—through 8 p.m., and there is a chance of severe thunderstorms near Oak Ridge through midnight, the National Weather Service said.
Update: A tornado warning was issued at 6:26 p.m. for southern Campbell County, Scott County, and northwestern Anderson County. It’s in effect through 7:15 p.m., and it applies to Lake City and Rosedale in Anderson County, as well as LaFollette, Caryville, and Jacksboro in Campbell County, and Huntsville and Oneida in Scott County. (The tornado warning has since been extended to 7:45 p.m.)
Radar showed a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado. The dangerous storm was located over Helenwood, about eight miles south of Oneida, and moving southeast at 35 mph, the NWS said.
People in the affected areas should take cover now, moving to a basement or interior room on the lowest floor of sturdy building. Windows should be avoided. If in a mobile home or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.
Forecasters said severe thunderstorms are expected Sunday into Sunday night across much of the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic coast region into portions of southern New England. Damaging wind gusts and large hail are possible, particularly across portions of the middle Ohio Valley into central Appalachians, where a couple of tornadoes are also possible. Heavy rain could accompany these storms and lead to flooding, the NWS said.
A tornado warning has been issued for a few areas in upper East Tennessee near the Kentucky border, including in Campbell, Scott, and Union counties.
The forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of severe thunderstorms tonight near Oak Ridge.
“Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 8 p.m. and midnight,” the NWS said. “Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.”
Forecasters said a strong upper level disturbance is combining with a moist and unstable airmass, leading to the possibility of severe weather.