A tornado watch is in effect for all of Suffolk County, including the East End, until 9 p.m. Saturday evening.
According to meteorologist David Stark of the National Weather Service office in Upton, although the weather seemed placid and calm in Riverhead and on the East End at around noon on Saturday, with no significant weather activity seen, a possible tornado was reported earlier Saturday morning.
In addition, thunderstorm activity has been recorded in western Suffok County. "Conditions later in the day remain favorable," for a tornado, as storms roll in, Stark said.
According to Stark, a cold front is heading in from the west. "It looks like it could spark a line of showers and thurnderstorms, with some damaging wind gusts in excess of 58 miles per hour," he said.
Such severe conditions and wind gusts are more likely to produce isolated tornadoes, Stark said.
While tornadoes are not "imminent," Stark said the conditions later on Saturday evening, including thunderstorms and damaging winds -- at approximately 8 p.m. on the East End -- could be conducive to isolated tornadoes, and the goal is to make residents aware.
"The East End should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions," Stark said.
The East End was "calm, with breezy conditions" Saturday afternoon, but residents should "not let their guards down," Stark said.
He added that the possiblity of a tornado is just that -- a possibility, not a guarantee.
However, should a tornado occur, residents should leave cars or mobile homes and head inside to the lowest level of a home -- to areas including a basement, or a hallway in the middle of a house. Bathrooms, closets, and under work benches or sturdy furniture are also suggested places to seek cover. Residents should cover their bodies with blankets and pillows.
"Always stay away from windows," Stark said. "That's key."
If a resident is in a car when a tornado hits, they are advised to leave the vehicle immediately and lie flat in the nearest ditch, covering their head with their hands.
Stark said the cluster of air masses moving in will mean cooler, fall-like temperatures in the 50s by Monday or Tuesday morning.
Of Saturday's weather alert, Stark said. "We hope that nothing significant happens. But as of now, the threat's there."