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Weather service issues tornado watch

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A hazardous weather report for New Mexico and a tornado watch for 15 counties in central and eastern New Mexico, including Chaves County, were issued Saturday afternoon.

The National Weather Service indicated that a tornado watch is in effect until 9 p.m. for Chaves, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Guadalupe, Harding, Lincoln, Mora, Otero, Quay, Roosevelt, San Miguel, Torrance and Union counties.

In the Chaves County and eastern New Mexico area, the National Weather Service was predicting a 50% chance of thunderstorms by 7 p.m. Saturday, with storm chances increasing during the overnight hours. The storms could bring heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 35 miles an hour.

Severe storms in the local area with large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain also could return Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon, according to the Weather Service.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.