The Storm Prediction Center states there is a 60% chance of a watch being issued for our area.
The statement issued by the Storm Prediction Center, called a ‘Mesoscale Discussion’, has a bit of technical jargon, but can be found here: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/md0399.html
In short, breaks of sunshine over the area are setting the stage for thunderstorms to intensify as they move into the area this afternoon. Damaging winds and a brief tornado may be possible if the threat continues to develop. Since the discussion mentions a tornado threat, it is uncertain whether a severe thunderstorm watch or a tornado watch is being considered.
Stay tuned for the latest from Finger Lakes Weather.
4pm Update: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of Erie County. Even if a watch isn’t issued for the entire area, individual storms will have the potential to become severe, as this cell illustrates. Remember, a WATCH means conditions are favorable for severe weather, while a WARNING is more serious, as the severe weather is occurring.