See note at the bottom of this entry for additional information received since I first posted.
I am surprised there was no severe weather watch for New York City, Connecticut or the surrounding environs this afternoon. Without a watch Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens went directly to a Tornado Warning just as parts of Connecticut have just gone to a Severe Thunderstorm Warning (since cancelled).
A watch is supposed to be the ‘heads up’ before bad weather strikes.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch will be issued when conditions are favorable for development of severe thunderstorms. While not anticipated, tornadoes may occur in the watch area. The Storms Prediction Center (SPC) is the sole agency responsible for issuing a watch. A watch covers several thousands of square miles and generally lasts from two to six hours.
I’m not sure yet if there’s been anything more than heavy rain so far in Connecticut but photos and video from New York City show lots of damage. The photo at the top of this entry is unverified so take it with a grain of salt, but it’s a powerful image. (I now have additional info on the photo. See below.)
Everyone expected strong storms. You didn’t have to be a forecasting genius to see that. That makes the absence of a watch even more troubling.
Sometimes I’m just as puzzled by this stuff as you.
Note: After posting this Huffington Post found the image is true but not from Thursday. There was a great deal of damage in Queens and Brooklyn Thursday, but so far no official confirmation of a tornado. I suspect evidence will prove there was one.