Chances for a tornado in the Buffalo Niagara region Friday – while slim – cannot be ruled out, the National Weather Service said.
What's more likely are damaging winds, forecasts show.
A severe thunderstorm warning is posted for Erie County as well as Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties through 4:30 p.m. tonight.
A wind advisory is also in place though 11 p.m. today.
Westerly winds gusting as high as 50 mph are possible, forecasters said.
"Gusty winds this afternoon may bring down a few small tree limbs and result in isolated power outages," the weather service said. "Travel in high-profile vehicles will also be difficult at times."
— NWS SPC (@NWSSPC) May 4, 2018
Forecasters said the threat for severe weather is being caused by unsettled weather generated by a trough of cold air that's expected to deepen an area of low pressure as it moves across the Great Lakes today. Its interaction with a warm, humid mass of air will help destabilize the atmosphere ahead of a cold front, the weather service said.
Today's severe weather potential has caught the eyes of weather experts from across the nation.
An uncommon storm environment will develop today across portions of the northeast. This combination of wind shear and instability is not often seen in this geographic region. Tornadoes with discrete supercells certainly seem possible this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/NWXvTRWVwH
— Taylor Trogdon (@TTrogdon) May 4, 2018
SPC has an upgraded SEVERE potential to enhanced across upstate NY and northern VT for wind. (2nd map red). Tornado probability and Hail probability round out bottom two maps. Could be more Hail today than we think. pic.twitter.com/2zGAR8sCvo
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) May 4, 2018
"This dynamic system will bring several weather hazards to our region, including gusty synoptic winds and risk for severe thunderstorms," the weather service said.
Those will mainly be associated with a squall line associated with the cold front. Forecast models show that could arrive in metro Buffalo in the mid to late afternoon.
"The main threat will be damaging convective winds with the squall line, but if any isolated cells develop ahead of this main line there may even be a risk for some hail, or a tornado," the weather service said.
High pressure returns on Saturday, forecasters said.
That should help to bring sunny skies with highs near 60 degrees.
There's a 60 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms later on Sunday as another trough approaches the region.
Daytime highs in the mid 60s are expected, the weather service said.