Triangle area under severe thunderstorm watch until late Tuesday night

Twelve counties in the state, including Wake, are under a severe thunderstorm watch until late Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The Level 2 risk will be in effect until 10 p.m. affecting Apex, Cary, Clayton, Wake Forest, and the central and eastern parts of the state.

As of 3 p.m., the NWS was tracking the storm east of Raleigh and near Nashville, moving east at 55 mph.

The storms could bring gusty winds up to 40 mph and pea sized hail. The winds could knock down trees and blow unsecured items around outdoors.

Watch vs. Warning

Here is the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning, according to the NWS:

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: “Be Prepared! Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.”

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: “Take Action! Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take shelter in a substantial building. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.”

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.