WEATHER ALERT: Tornado watch, severe thunderstorm warning and wind advisory in effect


UPDATE: The tornado watch for Sussex County has been dropped as of 7:05 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J., has issued a tornado watch that will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday morning for all of Delaware and Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties in Maryland. Several reports of possible tornados have been made on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday morning.

The NWS had also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Sussex and Kent counties and south-central New Castle County in Delaware, and for southern Caroline County, Talbot County, south central Queen Anne’s County in Maryland, in effect until 6:30 a.m.

At 5:26 a.m., radar indicated a line of severe thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. The storms were located near Centerville and Easton, Md., and were moving northeast at 45 mph.

NWS officials emphasized that this is a dangerous storm. Those in the storm’s path should prepare immediately for damaging winds, destructive hail and deadly cloud-to-ground lightning. People outside should move to a shelter, preferably inside a strong building but away from windows.

The thunderstorm may contain little or no lightning, they noted, advising people not to wait for thunder before taking cover but to seek shelter immediately inside a sturdy structure and stay away from windows.

As a strong cold front crosses the region this morning, strong winds are expected preceding and accompanying its passage. Winds are expected to be 15 to 25 mph, with peak gusts of around 45 mph are expected. A wind advisory remains in effect until 11 a.m. this morning.

The strong winds may cause tree limbs to fall and affect travel of high-profile vehicles. If rain coincides with the strongest winds on Tuesday morning, some weak trees might also fall down. Motorists should use extra caution – especially those in high-profile vehicles. Light-weight outdoor objects, such as patio furniture and recycling and garbage cans should be secured.