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Severe weather expected this afternoon
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The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for Thursday afternoon in north Georgia.

Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford said local officials will be closely monitoring the developing weather.

"Thursday afternoon and evening could turn out to be quite interesting in north Georgia, if storms start developing the way the latest computer models say," he said.

"The day is going to be mostly sunny and very hot and muggy. Thunderstorms are forecasted to develop in far north Georgia around mid-afternoon and quickly become strong."

A front of colder air moving in this afternoon and combining with excessive surface heat could lead to strong downdrafts, with gusts to 70 mph and large hail up to 2 inches in diameter.

The National Weather Service estimates the cold front will roll into North Georgia between 2 and 4 p.m. Weather models show the Gainesville to Atlanta metro area in severe storm range from 3 to 8 p.m.

The storm is expected to produce damaging winds, large hail, frequent lightning and heavy rain.

The storms are not predicted to stay in one area long, but will produce high rainfall, though no significant flooding is expected.

 Swafford urges the community to monitor local media and NOAA weather radio for developing information.