Syracuse, N.Y. — A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for most of Upstate New York through this evening.
“A line of strong to severe thunderstorms will develop along and ahead of a cold front through the afternoon and early evening hours,” the National Weather Service said. “The main threats will be from damaging wind gusts, frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and heavy rainfall.”
Intense rain, at rates of 1 inch or more per hour, could cause localized flooding.
A watch means that conditions in the atmosphere are right to generate severe storms, which can have winds of 58 mph or greater, enough to damage structures and knock down trees.
Storms will move west to east, with odds of severe storms highest in the late afternoon in the Capital Region. Today’s storms are likely to be more widespread and intense than those that popped up Tuesday. They could start as early as noon in Western New York and make their way east and northeast, diminishing after dark in the eastern half of the state.
Most of Upstate has a 15% chance of severe storms today, while the Capital Region is in the 30% range, said the Storm Prediction Center. The only regions not covered by the thunderstorm watch are the North Country and counties along Lake Ontario. Storms are possible but less likely to be severe in those regions.
The cold front generating these storms will also drop temperatures considerably. While highs since the weekend have stayed stubbornly in the 90s in much of Upstate, they’ll likely remain in the upper 70s through the holiday weekend. Temperatures in the 80s are expected to return by early next week.