A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect across Chatham-Kent.

Environment Canada officials say the thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon may become severe with wind gusts of 100 km/h and heavy rainfall.

“These storms also have the potential to produce tornadoes,” forecasters say.

“Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Intense lightning is likely with any thunderstorm that develops. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!”

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management recommends that you take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ONstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #ONStorm.

For more information: http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/beprepared/beprepared.html.