Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch Thursday afternoon for several areas in northeastern Ontario.

Communities under the watch are Greater Sudbury and area, Sault Ste. Marie and Superior East, Manitoulin Island, Blind River, Killarney, Elliot Lake and Ranger Lake.

"Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts and large hail," Environment Canada said in a news release.

"Severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon with wind gusts near 90 km/h."

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles, the release said.

"Intense lightning is likely with any thunderstorm that develops," the weather forecaster said. "Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!"

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management recommends that you take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.

To report severe weather, send an email to ONstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #ONStorm.