What to Know
Another round of possibly severe weather is expected Wednesday PM; NYC faces a heightened risk, Storm Team 4 says
Some of the cells could potentially bring damaging winds and hail, and a tornado isn’t out of the question either
The worst weather is expected between about 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to Storm Team 4
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has downgraded the severe storm risk for New York City and surrounding areas Wednesday to “slight,” meaning isolated thunderstorms are still possible, along with a tornado, but widespread severe weather is less likely than thought earlier in the day.
Torrential rain and gusty winds are still expected, though, Storm Team 4 says. The best chance for strong storms is still across the city, northeastern New Jersey, western Long Island and parts of the lower Hudson Valley between about 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. A tornado watch has been issued for Hunterdon and Warren counties in New Jersey until 8 p.m. It’s part of the same system that spawned deadly tornadoes in the Midwest triggered an EF-1 twister in Sussex County and rare tornado warnings for parts of New York City, dumping golf ball-sized hail on Staten Island and burying other spots in thunderous rain, a day earlier.
According to Storm Team 4, Wednesday’s storms will start to fire up after 3 p.m., following a mostly mild and muggy day. By the height of the evening commute, around 6 p.m., strong thunderstorms are likely in parts of the region, with the greatest risk across central and southern New Jersey. Get real-time commute updates from all your key transit sources here.
Track the storms using our interactive radar below.
Primary threats include damaging winds near 60 mph, flash flooding and destructive hail, as well as isolated tornadoes.
Flash flood watches are already in place for most of northwestern, central and southern New Jersey through early Thursday, which could see yet another round of severe storms fire up in the afternoon and evening hours before the volatile weather pattern starts to calm down. Check the latest severe weather alerts for your neighborhood here.
That means there will be little relief for those still shaken by Tuesday’s intense weather. Multiple tornado warnings were issued throughout the region, one after the other over the course of hours. Pike County in Pennsylvania first got the warning just after 7:30 p.m., followed by multiple counties in New Jersey after 8 p.m. and eventually parts of New York City, too.
Officials confirmed an EF2 tornado with wind speeds up to 135 mph was spotted in the area around Scranton. Later, another tornado touched down in Stanhope and Hopatcong in New Jersey’s Sussex County, the National Weather Service said Wednesday. That tornado had wind speeds ranging from 86 mph to 110 mph. No injuries were immediately reported. The National Weather Service expects to release additional details on the Jersey tornado later Wednesday.
Staten Island and Union County were the last to be hit by the intense storm, with a tornado warning expiring before 11 p.m. Tuesday.
The fast-moving storm (it moved at about 45 mph over the region) brought powerful wind gusts of 60 mph and hail ranging from dime- to golf ball-sized in Staten Island, according to Storm Team 4 and videos posted to social media.
Multiple counties in New Jersey and New York, as well as Fairfield County in Connecticut, all recieved severe thunderstorm warnings at some point Tuesday night. Thousands upon thousands of customers lost power as well.
Most of New York City was just outside the path of the most serious storms, with the exception of Staten Island. Brooklyn and Queens were both under severe thunderstorm warnings until 11 p.m.
The storm wreaked havoc on NYC-area airports as well. LaGuardia and Newark both had delays of at least three hours, while JFK Airport faced three-hour backups.
Tuesday’s storms were part of the same system that spurred dozens of suspected tornadoes across eight states Monday, leaving a trail of destruction through Indiana and Ohio. At least one death was reported in Celina, Ohio.
Get real-time commute updates from all your key transit sources below.