Photo: National Weather Service Morristown Weather Field Office.
Photo: National Weather Service Morristown Weather Field Office.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for Scott and all surrounding counties Wednesday evening, in effect until 3 a.m. Thursday morning, eastern time.

The tornado watch, issued by the NWS's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., included much of Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee, with the only exceptions being the southern tier of counties along the Alabama and Georgia borders.

A separate tornado watch was in effect for Kentucky, including McCreary County, until 11 p.m. Wednesday evening.

The watches came as forecasters predicted an organized line of thunderstorms to form over the Ohio Valley and push into Tennessee late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning.

According to a hazardous weather outlook issued by the National Weather Service's Morristown weather field office, which covers Scott County, the primary threat was widespread damaging winds.

"This system will bring the potential for widespread damaging winds in excess of 60 mph, marge hail, and locally heavy rainfall," the outlook stated. "In addition, an isolated tornado or two will also be possible."

Forecasters projected the potential for thunderstorms to redevelop across the region Thursday afternoon, with the potential for isolated strong-to-severe storms packing strong winds, hail and locally heavy rainfall.

In a call to spotters, citizens trained by the NWS to spot and make official reports of severe weather, the NWS said spotter activation would "likely be needed" late Wednesday and into early Thursday.

There were two reports of tornadoes earlier Wednesday in Kentucky, both in Webster County, Ky., located in western Ky.

There were also several reports of damaging winds across Kentucky, as well as one report of quarter-sized hail in Elliot County, Ky., located in the southeastern corner of the state.