Area under a tornado watch

(WYDaily/Courtesy of the National Weather Service)
(Southside Daily/Courtesy of the National Weather Service)

The National Weather Service in Wakefield has issued a tornado watch for much of the area – the watch is effective until midnight Friday.

Forecasters said showers and thunderstorms are likely to develop early afternoon, and have the potential of being strong to severe but the more pronounced threat of widespread severe storms comes likely late in the evening.

A flash flood watch also is in effect in the area until 4 a.m.

The weather is predicted to produce 60-80 mph wind gusts late Friday with a possibility of hail.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.