ITHACA, N.Y.—There has been a tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service for a large portion of Upstate New York, including Tompkins County, until 11 p.m. Thursday night. In total, 36 counties in New York have been placed under a tornado watch.

Forecasts have called for thunderstorms intermittently Thursday morning and night, including a few this morning that sounded like something close to armageddon, but now a tornado has been added to the list of possibilities.

The forecast currently calls for thunderstorms in the area, some of which could be severe, for the next few hours before the rain clears up and clouds remain. Regardless of whether or not a tornado develops, the NWS is calling for 20 mph wind gusts as the rain comes through.

Tornadoes are not wholly uncommon in the area, as one was reported to have touched down in Dryden last summer around this time.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at