NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The entire Tri-state area except for Suffolk County, is under a tornado watch until 8 pm.

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In New York, the Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, New York (Manhattan), Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland and Westchester are all also under a tornado watch.

In Connecticut, the following counties are under a tornado watch: Hartford, Northern Fairfield, Northern New Haven, Southern Fairfield, Southern New Haven.            

In New Jersey, the watch includes the following counties: Coastal Ocean, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Monmouth, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Northwestern Burlington, Ocean, Somerset, Sussex, Western Bergen, Western Essex, Western Monmouth, Western Passaic, Western Union.            

A severe thunderstorm or tornado watch is issued when atmospheric conditions are favorable for the formation of adverse weather conditions. A warning is issued when severe weather conditions are imminent.

“Watch for deteriorating conditions, pay attention to media outlets or internet sources for severe weather watches and warnings, and take shelter immediately when a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning is issued,” New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes, Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, said in a statement.  

2011 has been the deadliest year for tornadoes in the nation since 1950, according to the National Weather Service. 

The death toll for twisters this year is now 523. The previous record for the highest number of deaths in a signal year was 519 in 1953.

One of the deadliest this year was an EF-5 tornado that slammed into Joplin, Missouri last month. Officials there have raised the death toll to at least 139 and say 100 people are still missing.

Just after the deadly Joplin tornado, violent storms ripped through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 16. 

In April, a pack of twisters roared across six southern states, killing more than 300 people, more than two-thirds of them in Alabama.

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