New York

Fierce Storms Lash Tri-State With Torrential Rain, Hail and Lightning

The worst of the storms, including torrential downpours and damaging winds, is expected to hit during the afternoon rush

What to Know

  • Widespread storms are expected Tuesday, particularly during the evening rush; some of those storms could be severe
  • Storm Team 4 says torrential rain poses a risk of flash flooding for a wide swath of the tri-state area
  • The weather improves after that, with highs expected in the mid-80s and sunny skies through the remainder of the workweek

Powerful storms battered the tri-state Tuesday afternoon, first tearing down trees and powerlines on the Jersey shore and in parts of the Hudson Valley before suddenly emerging in Manhattan with everything from hail and flooding rains that inundated roads to a funnel cloud over the New York Harbor.

Hail was reported in the West Village as menacing storm clouds moved over the George Washington Bridge about 3 p.m. But within minutes, heavy rain was falling on the entire region and sending people running for dry awnings and building lobbies. 

Rain poured down inside subway stations and inundated highways in the five boroughs. FDR Drive was particularly affected, with drivers being stranded or directed off the arterial route as it became more and more clogged with water.

And at least one funnel cloud was spotted in the harbor as the storm rolled in, according to the National Weather Service.

Storm Team 4 says the threat of damaging winds has wound down, but the threat for flash floods remained into the evening. Flooding was reported along the Jersey shore as of 6 p.m., even though the rain had temporarily tapered off.

Air travel was also impacted by the weather; flight tracking site FlightAware reported that more than 1,000 flights were delayed or canceled because of the wet weather Tuesday afternoon.

On the region's commuter rails, only NJ Transit appeared to have been affected by the weather as of the start of the evening rush; Morris & Essex line trains were experiencing delays of up to 20 minutes due to weather-related signal problems. 

Storm Team 4 Breaks Down Timing, Expectations for Tuesday's Severe Weather Threat

Flash flood watches went into effect at noon and last through the evening for much of the tri-state. Click here for all weather alerts.  
Ample moisture and daytime heating only added more fuel to the storm threat, Storm Team 4 says. Highs rose into the upper 80s, but it still felt like it was in the 90s as the smothering humidity refused to dissipate. 

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The rough weather will begin to taper off before midnight and the situation improves after that, with highs expected in the mid-80s and sunny skies through the remainder of the workweek, according to Storm Team 4.

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