First Defense: Strong To Severe Thunderstorms Possible Thursday

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY NEWS NOW) – Scattered strong to severe thunderstorms producing damaging winds, large hail, and even an isolated tornado threat is possible late this afternoon through tonight across Western New York.

The NOAA Storm Prediction Center has placed most of the Western Southern Tier under a slight risk (level 2/5) for severe storms on Thursday. An enhanced risk (level 3/5) exist for Erie and Crawford Counties in Pennsylvania.

The greatest threat will come from damaging wind gust over 58+ MPH. A 30% significant wind threat with damaging winds over 75+ MPH exist across Erie County PA. This is the where the greatest severe weather threat will be found, closer to the center of the convective system across Ohio.


In addition, there is a 5% large hail risk across the region as well as a 2% tornado risk. A 5% tornado risk exist across Erie and Crawford County PA as well as a small portion of Southwestern Chautauqua County. In other words,  there is a 2-5% chance of seeing a tornado within 25 miles of any location.

On top of all that, heavy rain will be likely as well. Heavy rain may lead to areas of localized flooding. If you come across a flooded roadway, is not worth the risk to drive through it. Turn around, don’t drown.

These storms are a result of a convective storm system that is expected to track southeast out of the Great Lakes and cross just South of the Western Southern Tier.

A few key points with the severe potential is monitoring cloud cover through the day. More sunshine leads to more instability in the atmosphere. If we get more sunshine, chances will be better for strong to severe storms to develop.

The convective wave will also be closely watched as any track farther North then what is currently expected would result in heavier rain and storms across Western New York.

Thursday will not be overly warm with highs in the upper 70’s. However, dewpoints will be in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s making it feel quite muggy.

A humid night is expected tonight with lows only in the mid to upper 60’s.

Showers will continue into Friday and the early half of the weekend. Temperatures will trend cooler by the weekend after the passing of a cold front late Friday night.

WNY News Now’s First Defense Weather team provides local weather coverage for Western New York’s Southern Tier and Northwestern Pennsylvania. Connect with us on social media using the hashtag #MyLocalWx. 


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