NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for New York City, parts of New Jersey, and Westchester until 8:15 p.m. Thursday.
Earlier, a Tornado Watch was issued for parts of southeastern New York, Connecticut, and southern Rhode Island until 8 p.m.
Earlier, the New York City Emergency Management sent out a notice for severe weather after the forecast was updated to a 30 percent chance for wind gusts up to 60 mph and a 10 percent chance for higher gusts and tornadoes.
Strong storms are expected in the area Thursday evening. Hurricane Laura will contribute to additional storms on Saturday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday directed state agencies to prepare and pre-deploy emergency response assets as heavy rains and severe thunderstorms are forecast to impact New York on Thursday through this weekend.
As humidity begins to return on Thursday, there will be an increased chance of scattered severe thunderstorms statewide, especially in the eastern portion of the state where localized downpours and wind gusts of up to 60 mph are possible.
As the weekend approaches, a storm system will move over the Great Lakes and enter New York from the west and bring the possibility of rain across much of upstate New York beginning Friday night into Saturday.
Simultaneously, the remnants of Hurricane Laura will continue to move east toward the Mid-Atlantic coast, which may lead to heavy rainfall in the lower Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island Regions.
"Our emergency response teams are monitoring these storms around the clock and we're urging New Yorkers to be prepared for severe weather starting Thursday and limit any unnecessary travel," Governor Cuomo said. "We are tracking Hurricane Laura, as well, as it approaches Texas and Louisiana and could potentially bring heavy rains to New York late in the weekend."
Agency preparations include state stockpiles such as pumps, chainsaws, sandbags, and bottled water prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs.
The New York State Police has instructed all Troopers to remain vigilant and closely monitor conditions for any problems.
Additional personnel will be deployed to affected areas as needed. All four-wheel-drive vehicles and all specialty vehicles, including boats and utility vehicles, are in-service.
Response crews will also be available throughout the duration of priority response operations.
Cuomo also released safety precautions for travelers including having disaster supplies on hand, including flashlights extra batteries, and emergency food, and water.