PARIS — The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning in Oxford County and a tornado watch for Androscoggin, Cumberland, Sagadahoc and York counties in effect until 8 p.m.

The weather service also predicts powerful thunderstorms and “large hail and damaging winds” as a cold front moves in on the area. The tornado warning in Oxford County is in effect until 3:45 p.m.

A watch is also in effect throughout New Hampshire.

At 3:06 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a warning that a severe thunderstorm with “a history of golf-ball sized hail” was moving east 11 miles outside of Bethel. Other areas included in the warning were Locke Mills, Bryant Pond, Rumford and Mexico.

A tornado watch is a low-level alert issued when weather conditions could lead to a tornado. A tornado warning means there is a significant risk of tornadoes.

The National Weather Service reports that the safest place to be in case of a tornado is in the basement or lowest floor of a home. If no basement is available, find an interior room such as a closet and protect your body with pillows and blankets.

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