Authorities have issued tornado watches for the New York CityÂ metropolitan area as intense winds and rain and possible severeÂ thunderstorms bear down on the region.
A tornado watch was issued earlier in the day for the city,Â Sullivan, Rockland and Orange counties and all of New Jersey. ItÂ is in effect until 7 p.m. The watch was expanded TuesdayÂ afternoon to include Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Ulster,Â Dutchess and Putnam counties in New York and Fairfield County inÂ Connecticut. Those later tornado watches expire at 11 p.m.
Half-inch-sized hail, dangerous lightning and wind gusts of up toÂ 70 mph are possible with this storm, meteorologists say.
The surging storm system is expected to gain strength throughoutÂ the day, turning into scattered, potentially severe thunderstormsÂ by the time of the evening commute. Damaging wind gusts of up toÂ 60 mph and isolated tornadoes are possible with these storms,Â which may knock down trees and cause power outages.
The storm slowed the evening commute for many. Metro-NorthÂ reported delays between Greenwich and Stamford, Conn. as fiveÂ trains were stuck on the tracks because trees were down. Earlier,Â the Harlem and New Haven lines were slowed because of a downedÂ tree.
On Long Island, the Long Island Power Authority reported 4,000Â without power Tuesday afternoon, with outages reported in StewartÂ Manor and Floral Park in Nassau County.
In New Jersey, wind gusts ripped a facade from a tattoo shop onÂ the Wildwood boardwalk and the top of an old oak tree landed onÂ the roof of a home in Ridgewood. No injuries were reported inÂ either incident. A wind advisory is in effect from noon untilÂ midnight for most of the Garden State. Ijn Yonkers, a downed treeÂ took out a power line, leaving about 30 homes without power.
Along with the powerful wind and isolated tornado potential,Â forecasters say blinding downpours are expected to accompany theÂ thunderstorms, causing street and highway flooding in localÂ drainage areas. The storm threat continues through the eveningÂ rush hour, so delays are possible.
Low clouds, wind and powerful thunderstorms are likely to causeÂ delays at area airports, so customers are advised to check withÂ their carriers before heading out. Newark Airport was reportingÂ delays of nearly two hours by 11:15 a.m.
The forecast for Tuesday calls for a high of 76 degrees. TheÂ weather looks better Wednesday into the remainder of the week,Â with highs in the low-to-mid 70s through Friday and partly orÂ mostly sunny skies.
Two twisters touched down in New York City earlier this month.Â The first went through the Breezy Point section of the RockawayÂ peninsula in Queens. The second hit to the northwest, in theÂ Canarsie section of Brooklyn. No injuries were reported.
Source: NBC NY