NYC Tornado Warning: Twister Watch In Effect For Greater New York City Area

NYC Tornado A tornado caused damage to a home in Flushing, Queens, on Sept. 16, 2010.  Wikimedia Commons / Leizmonk

The National Weather Service announced that a tornado watch is in effect Monday for the Greater New York area.

The warning, issued at 9 a.m., cautioned New York state residents from Manhattan to Syracuse that twisters may strike the region.

The watch will remain in effect until 5 p.m., and people in potential touchdown areas should be cognizant of the threat.

The warning states that "a quick half to one inch of rainfall with locally higher amounts is expected" and that people should expect possible urban flooding in the area as well.

Even though most people in New York City are much more likely to experience a tornado in the movies than they are in real life, at least one tornado has touched down in one or more of NYC's five boroughs each of the past three years -- a frequency that's out of character with previous twister trends in the region, according to New York City Office of Emergency Management records.

On Sept. 8, 2012, a tornado struck Queens and Brooklyn after originating as a water spout. The twister arrived as an EF0 tornado in Rockaway Beach, Queens, and then hit Brooklyn's Canarsie neighborhood as an EF1 twister, causing some damage.

In late August the previous year, a minor F0 tornado hit Queens, and on Sept. 16, 2010, an EF0 tornado landed in Park Slope, Brooklyn, while an EF1 twister swept through neighborhoods in Queens, from Bayside to Forest Hills, causing fairly extensive damage.

Hurricanes have caused more significant damage in New York City than tornadoes have in recent years, as Hurricane Sandy infamously decimated neighborhoods across the city in October 2012. Hurricane Irene caused minor damage in August 2011.

Further south in current storm activity, Tropical Storm Karen, which was reduced to tropical depression status during the weekend, is expected to slowly lumber along the Gulf Coast and cross over the Florida panhandle sometime Monday. The Atlantic hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

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