Threat of hail, tornadoes in NYC area
Pedestrians cross the street as rain falls in midtown Manhattan July 18, 2012, in New York. / AP Photo
(CBS News) NEW YORK -- Severe thunderstorms are threatening to bring heavy rain, high winds and possibly hail and tornadoes through parts of the Northeast Thursday, CBS New York station WCBS-TV reports.
The storms may cause widespread power outages in parts of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
"I urge all New Yorkers to take caution and pay attention to local radio and television reports for the latest information on the progress of these summer storms," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "Proper precautions undertaken now can help ensure that the strong winds and heavy rain cause as little damage as possible and that families and individuals are kept safe from harm."
Strong storms in the Midwest were working their way into western New York just before sunrise. Those same storms will weaken as they move into the area around New York City by late Thursday morning. Cuomo said the State Emergency Operations Center will be activated at 1 p.m. Thursday.
"The combination of heat and humidity is a perfect ingredient for severe weather," WCBS-TV weather forecaster Lonnie Quinn said.
A chance for severe thunderstorms will increase by the evening with the possibility of isolated tornadoes. The areas most likely to be affected are Connecticut down through New York City to points north and west.
Unlike previous severe weather so far this season, Thursday's storms will encounter wind shear.
"Wind shear is basically when you have winds blowing in two different directions that could spark a funnel cloud or a tornado," Quinn said.
Thursday's winds will be blowing at 50 mph out of the northwest at around 5,000 feet and 15 mph out of the southwest at the surface, Quinn said.
"The main threat Thursday will be heavy rain, lightning, large hail and gusty winds," Quinn said. "But don't rule out the possibility of a tornado developing."
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