A tornado watch is in effect for Burke, Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie and Richmond counties until 10 p.m.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. issued a broadcast alert for the Augusta area at 1:20 p.m.
Several tornadoes, damaging wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour and large hail up to 1 inch in diameter are possible.
The tornado watch also covers large areas of South Carolina and North Carolina, including Abbeville, Aiken, Barnwell, Edgefield and McCormick counties in South Carolina.
“There’s an approaching cold front and an upper level system that are helping to promote the thunderstorms across the area today,” said meteorologist Whitney Rushing, of the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C.
About 1:30 p.m., the strongest storms were moving across the South Carolina upstate, Rushing said. Locally heavy rainfall was causing some flooding.