The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, in effect until 9 p.m. tonight.
A severe line of thunderstorms rolling over the area combined with extreme wind disturbances in the upper atmosphere have combined to make the area more likely to have a tornado. While this smaller band of rain will have pushed across Long Island by 12:30 p.m.
Earlier today, a tornado warning was issued for parts of Brooklyn and Queens. There has been a report by The Gothamist that a tornado touched down in Brooklyn around 11:30 a.m. The YouTube video to the right shows the apparent tornado in Queens Saturday morning.
A tornado watch means there is potential for a tornado event within the coming hours, but does not mean a tornado is imminent. A tornado warning is issued when tornadic activity is identified by NWS radars or on-the-ground spotters and is imminent.
What to Do In Case of a Tornado
In the case of a tornado, the National Weather Service suggests the following on their :
- The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement, or safe room.
- If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
- Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes. Abandon mobile homes and go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately.
- If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter:
- Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
- If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have the following options as a last resort:
- Stay in your vehicle with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
- If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car, and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.