A sunny, warm day is becoming more and more overcast this afternoon, and thunderstorms are likely late this afternoon and evening, say National Weather Service forecasters. A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Tompkins, Steuben, Schuyler, Cayuga, Cortland, Yates, Jefferson, Chenango, Onondaga, Oneida, Madison, Owego, Lewis, Otsego, and Wayne counties until 8pm on Tuesday.
A severe thunderstorm system now approaching Seneca Lake from the west is heading in an east-southeast direction, and is likely to hit the Ithaca area, or pass just to the north, between 4:30 and 5pm. The National Weather Service says the primary threat from this storm system is heavy winds, but "large hail, localized heavy rains, and even an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out."
A light drizzle is likely to turn to rain at about 4:30 this afternoon in the Ithaca area, even if the storm passes to our north. Flights scheduled to arrive at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport shortly before 5pm are actually running early, and should reach the ground before the storm hits.