What there is to know
- Temperatures soared to 90 degrees or more in the tri-state area on Tuesday – and with that came the threat of severe weather
- Heavy rain is expected for the most part in the New York area; severe storms will continue to hit during the evening rush, starting in the west and moving southeast
- Flash floods aren’t a big deal with this system as it will move quickly, but lightning and damaging straight winds are the main threats.
Severe thunderstorms began to besiege the tri-state area on Tuesday evening, with some storms having the potential to trigger squall-like conditions – sudden, violent winds and precipitation – in and around New York during the evening rush, which could seriously hamper movement. .
Lightning, torrential rains and damaging straight-line winds are likely for a wide swath of the tri-state, although the most severe conditions are expected north and west of the five boroughs at this point. Large hail and tornadoes are not likely but cannot be ruled out, with a tornado warning issued for Morris, Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey earlier in the evening.
Flooding is less of a concern as the storms are expected to move quickly and while they are likely to produce heavy rain, they are not expected to linger long enough in isolated areas to pose a significant flash flood threat. Most areas will see less than an inch of water pooling by the time the system comes out.
Western and central New Jersey saw their risk of severe weather increase early Tuesday afternoon, so people in those areas should be especially aware of the skies.
Multiple severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for parts of the Hudson Valley and northwestern New Jersey in the early evening. Severe thunderstorm watches are in effect for Dutchess, Sullivan and Ulster counties until 8 p.m. and for nearly all other counties in the three states (except Long Island) until 10 p.m.
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The storms began hitting the most remote parts of the three states — areas around the Poconos and Catskills — after 3 p.m. and will continue to sweep through the region late into the night. The system moved over northern New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley between approximately 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., leading to reports of damage, including a downed tree near the I- 80 in Warren County.
As the sun set, New York City had yet to see any real impact from the storms, although the threat of severe weather continued well into the night. But that meant many commuters didn’t have to go home, but the fate of the Yankees game at the stadium was still up in the air.
The last parts of the system to be seen are expected to be those off Long Island and along the Jersey Shore as the storm moves through these areas later on while tracking south and east.
What is a squall? By definition, a gust is a sudden onset of strong wind. NBC New York meteorologist Violeta Yas explains.
The bad weather is accompanied by an approaching cold front after a Tuesday characterized by rising humidity as actual temperatures top 90 degrees in Central Park.
If you feel like you’ve been hearing the phrase “severe weather threat” lately, you’re not alone. The northeastern United States is now at the climatological peak of its severe weather season. The overall risk should begin to decline later in the summer.
Breaking through Tuesday’s severe weather threats
The storms will develop along a cold front coming from the northwest. A line of thunderstorms (a squall line) will develop along this front and cross the area. The system could produce heavy rain, but would not hover over an area long enough to pose a real flood threat because it would move too quickly.
Tornadoes are not likely, but a spin-up spin-up cannot be ruled out with this system.
After the storms
Unfortunately, the storm front will not introduce a pleasant and refreshing air mass after the move.
The weather remains warm on Wednesday, with highs expected again at 90 degrees in the New York area. Temperatures drop back into the high 80s on Thursday, when spotty showers are possible, and are expected to fall into the more seasonal 80s on Friday.
Then the mercury rises again ahead of what, at this point, looks like another warm and mostly sunny weekend. Saturday seems to be the ideal day, because the risk of thunderstorms returns on Sunday.
Overall: Summer will be in full effect for the next 10 days, with temperatures consistently above the average high of 85 degrees and humidity present most of these days as well.
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