The National Weather Service has warned that wind gusts of more than 40 mph and half-inch hail could pound the North Fork Wednesday afternoon as a strong thunderstorm sweeps across the area.
And a tornado watch has been issued until 4:45 p.m. with forecasters spotting rotation within the thunderstorm.
“Take cover now!” a statement from the NWS warns. “Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.”
A flood advisory is also in effect until 6:30 p.m., as rainfall between 2 and 3 inches per hour are being detected, forecasters said. Small creeks and streams, country roads and farmlands are expected to flood in Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island, according to the NWS.
The storm is moving south south-east at 35 mph near Mattituck and is expected to hit the following areas at the listed times, according to a NWS alert:
• Southold and Peconic: 3:35 p.m.
• Greenport: 3:40 p.m.
• Shelter Island about 3:45 p.m.
Orient may also be affected by the storm, forecasters said.
“This storm may intensify,” an alert states, “so be certain to monitor local radio stations and available television stations for additional information and possible warnings from the National Weather Service.”