A little bit before I left from work, I heard some hard rain and some loud thunder. This was pretty significant, as my office is in a warehouse kind of environment where there are no windows; and the ceiling is very high. To hear the rain pelt against the roof meant that it was raining very, very hard.
A thin line of severe thunderstorms passed through the area in under 45 minutes. By the time I got to my car, it was still cloudy, but had stopped raining. Off to the east, I could see the dark, ominous looking clouds and numerous cloud to ground lightning strikes.
Once I got moving, I tuned the VHF/UHF radio immediately to the Middlesex County SkyWarn net on the K2GE, Sayreville repeater. While Middlesex County was beginning to be hit hard, I advised the net that the action was already over in Somerset County (where I work) and that it wouldn't last long in Middlesex County.
Reports started coming in of some places receiving quarter sized hail and winds in the 40+ mph hour range, along with rainfall rates approaching 2 - 3 inches per hour. As bad as that was, it seems that the NYC boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens bore the worst of it. A funnel cloud was reported; and while it has not been confirmed as a tornado (as of yet), the resulting damage was plenty. It could have been a macroburst as I heard reports on some of the NYC area repeaters of tree limbs ripping through buses; and people being dug out from under piles of falling debris. There was also an unverified report of a man being killed by a tree falling on top of his car.
I'll have to make a point to watch the 11:00 news tonight to see just how bad NYC was hit.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!