FIRST ALERT: Tornado Watch in effect for several NC, SC counties

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Tornado Watch has been issued for much of the WBTV viewing area Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service tweeted just after noon that the possibility of severe weather was increasing and that a Tornado Watch was warranted for a large portion of the Carolinas.

Stanly, Union, Mecklenburg and Watauga counties are under a Tornado Watch until 9 p.m. Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina are also under a Tornado Watch until 9 p.m.

Ahead of the storms, WBTV meteorologists issued a "First Alert Day" for the potential for severe weather.

Officials with Avery County Schools announced they were dismissing students early Monday due to the "anticipation of heavy rains and potential for flooding." According to a spokesperson with Avery County Emergency Management, there is currently not an active flooding situation.

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