Lehigh Valley weather: Tornado watch issued across Pa. and N.J. as storms approach

NJ weather - tornado watch 7-29-21

Areas shaded in yellow are under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2021.National Weather Service

UPDATE: TORNADO WARNINGS across the Lehigh Valley

The Lehigh Valley and its surroundings — indeed, much of Pennsylvania and New Jersey — are under a tornado watch through Thursday evening as potentially severe storms approach.

The threat of tornadoes will continue until 9 p.m. in at least 31 Pennsylvania counties and 16 in New Jersey, according to the watch issued by the National Weather Service around 2:30 p.m.

Included in the advisory are Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania, and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Parts of Maryland and Delaware are also under a tornado watch (outlined in red in the tweet below).

A watch means tornadoes are possible and that the area should be prepared in case one develops.

If a tornado warning is issued, that means a tornado appears to be imminent or occurring, and safety measures should be taken immediately.

If a tornado strikes, the safest place to go is an interior room on the lowest floor of a building, away from windows.

The line of storms that will make its way across the region already spawned at least one tornado warning in western Pa. around 2:15 p.m.

The most recent tornado in the Lehigh Valley touched down in southern Lehigh County in May 2019. Though weak as tornadoes go, it managed to knock down trees in its 2-mile path into Bucks County.

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Steve Novak may be reached at snovak@lehighvalleylive.com.