A tornado watch is in effect for some major cities in the southeastern United States this afternoon, including the eastern suburbs of Atlanta, as well as Charlotte, Greenville, Columbia, and Asheville. Any storms that form in the watch area are capable of producing tornadoes.

While much weaker, today's severe weather is an extension of yesterday's outbreak that produced thirteen reports of tornadoes and more than 300 reports of wind damage across twelve states.

Thunderstorms are firing up along and ahead of a cold front sweeping towards the East Coast, and these storms are tapping into low-level shear and beginning to rotate. One storm has already produced a funnel cloud a few dozen miles west of Charlotte.

Much of the eastern United States from Charleston, West Virginia south through north-central Florida is under a slight risk for severe weather today. In addition to the tornado risk in the watch area, storms that form in and around the slight risk are capable of producing wind gusts to 60 MPH and quarter sized hail.

Once the storms clear through, weather behind the cold front will be absolutely gorgeous. While it's hell for people who write about the weather for a living (cough), the cold front will bring cooler temperatures, lower humidity, and brilliantly clear skies to provide an excellent couple of days of weather for the middle of October.

[Images: author, NASA]

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