High Winds, Hail Figure To Be Part Of Mother Nature's Latest Tantrum

Updated at 12:55 a.m., July 26, 2012

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is a chance for strong winds, hail and even tornadoes for parts of the Tri-State Area on Thursday.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging all New Yorkers to be prepared as severe thunderstorms are forecast to pass through the state. According to CBS 2’s Lonnie Quinn, the storms will bring heavy rain, high winds and possibly tornadoes, and may cause widespread power outages.

“I urge all New Yorkers to take caution and pay attention to local radio and television reports for the latest information on the progress of these summer storms,” Cuomo said. “Proper precautions undertaken now can help ensure that the strong winds and heavy rain cause as little damage as possible and that families and individuals are kept safe from harm.”

Strong storms in the Midwest will work their way into western New York by 5 a.m. Those same storms will weaken as they move into our area by late Thursday morning. We could then see peeks of sunshine that will help raise temperature into the lower 90s.

“The combination of heat and humidity is a perfect ingredient for severe weather,” CBS 2’s Quinn said.

By evening we’ll have a chance for severe thunderstorms, with the possibility of isolated tornadoes. The areas most likely to be impacted are Connecticut down through New York City to points north and west.

Unlike previous severe weather so far this season, Thursday’s storms will encounter wind shear.

“Wind shear is basically when you have winds blowing in two different directions that could spark a funnel cloud or a tornado,” Quinn said.

Thursday’s winds will be blowing at 50 mph out of the northwest at around 5,000 feet and 15 mph out of the southwest at the surface, Quinn reported.

“The main threat Thursday will be heavy rain, lightning, large hail and gusty winds,” Quinn said. “But don’t rule out the possibility of a tornado developing.”

Governor Cuomo offered the following tips as the storm approaches:

Before the storm hits:

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* Tie down or bring inside lawn furniture, trash cans, tools and hanging plants that could be projectiles during the storm.

* If you have a basement, check sump pumps to ensure they are operating and be prepared to use a backup system.

* Have a standby generator or alternative source of power available.

* Check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.

As the storm approaches:

* Stay inside, away from windows and glass doors.

* Charge your cellphones and important electronic devices

* Stay off roads. If you are traveling, find safe shelter immediately.

If you must travel:

* Do not attempt to drive over flooded roads – turn around and go another way. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.

* Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.

* If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

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Please stay with CBSNewYork.com throughout the day Thursday for more on this developing story …