Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services

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Joseph F. Williams

John G. Jordan Sr.

Edward C. Schneyer
Director of the Office of Emergency Management
PO BOX 127
MAIN 631-852-4900
FAX 631-852-4922

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Thunderstorms


This statement covers Severe Thunderstorms.

Since 1996...high winds produced from severe thunderstorms were directly responsible for 14 deaths and 137 injuries across the Tri-state region. Although hail can damage property and injure People and rarely kills.

Climatologically...Severe Thunderstorms occur most frequently during the late afternoon...around 5 pm from May through August. A typical example would be rapidly developing severe thunderstorms forming in a moist unstable air mass ahead of a quick moving strong cold front. Most recent damage was the result of strong wind gusts along the leading edge of a line of thunderstorms. Winds that blow from one direction are called straight line winds.

Severe Weather Outlooks are issued by the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center up to 8 days before a potential event and by National Weather Service New York NY up to 7 days before a potential event in our hazardous weather outlook.

Severe Thunderstorm Watches are issued by the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center with lead times up to 6 hours. A Watch means that weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms in and around an area...usually covering a few hundred square miles.

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued by your National Weather Service office on long island for 11 counties in southeast New York...including the lower Hudson Valley...New York City and Long
Island...5 counties in northeast New Jersey and 4 counties in Southern Connecticut. We use a combination of Doppler radar and volunteer Skywarn Spotter observations to issue warnings. Last year...we correctly detected and warned for 81 percent of 112 severe thunderstorms with an average lead time of 17 minutes. When a Warning is issued...take protective action to save your life or Minimize damage to your property.

When you need timely information...tune to NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards...the official voice of the National Weather Service.