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Severe thunderstorm watch issued for coastal Maine until 8 p.m. Thursday

The Maine counties included in this watch have the highest chance at seeing severe weather this afternoon and evening. The threat dissipates later tonight.

MAINE, USA — A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued by the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center for parts of Maine, New Hampshire, and parts of southern New England.

The counties included in this watch are Androsoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, and York in Maine.

It also includes Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Stafford counties in New Hampshire.

The watch will expire at 8 p.m. this evening, when the severe weather threat has diminished locally.

Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for storms to form and strengthen. Warnings are issued when storms are imminent or occurring, and you should take shelter immediately.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

Thunderstorms are starting to fire up in Vermont and New Hampshire and will move southeast into Maine. There are also some thunderstorms throughout other parts of New England.

As they do, they move into a very favorable environment for development, leading to a threat for strong to severe storms.

RELATED: Strong wind gusts, hail possible with thunderstorms in Maine this afternoon and evening

All storms that fire will result in torrential downpours and lots of lightning.

As far as severe threats go, the biggest ones will be strong wind gusts and hail.

A brief spin-up tornado cannot be ruled out, but the threat is quite low. Straightline wind gusts can be just as damaging as a weak tornado.

RELATED: Click for Maine Local Weather Forecast

Keep up with us online and on-air for the latest. You can also get more information on the NEWS CENTER Maine app.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine
Counties highlighted in yellow are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 8 p.m.