The National Weather Service has confirmed that yet another tornado touched down in New Jersey, adding to the above-normal number of recorded tornadoes in the Garden State in recent years. The tornado touched down in Blackwood around 5 am today, in the area located between Camden County College and the Trump National Golf Club. While damage occurred, there were no injuries nor fatalities.
According to a Storm Survey Report completed by the Mount Holly, New Jersey office of the National Weather Service, the tornado touched down near Erial Road across from Marksmen Landscaping Company. From there, the tornado traveled northeast towards the Deer Park subdivision where several large limbs were snapped off both hardwood and softwood trees. In this area, at least 3 trees became uprooted.
Damage began on the southwest side of Deer Park Circle where several tree limbs were snapped off. The tornado moved north and east, nearly parallel to Deer Park Circle where a hardwood tree was uprooted and fell onto a fence line. According to the storm survey, multiple large tree limbs were snapped across multiple properties up towards the northeast extent of Deer Park Circle. The National Weather Service noticed that debris was noted on either side of the road in both directions, indicative of a tornado rather than straight-line wins.
On Deer Park Circle, one home had soffit removed from the side facing the northeast. At a single family residence at the end of Deer Park Circle, two large softwood trees were uprooted, with one having to be removed off of a home there.
The tornado continued northeast towards high tension powerlines just above the community. There, the tornado quickly dissipated.
Based on what was observed, the tornado had estimated winds of 90 mph. The tornado traveled a distance of 0.26 miles and had a maximum width of about 60 yards. The whole event lasted only two minutes, with the initial touch-down at 4:59 am and an end time of 5:01 am.
Due to its 90 mph winds, the the tornado was rated an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita tornado scale. The Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF Scale, which became operational on February 1, 2007, is used to assign a tornado a ‘rating’ based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. When tornado-related damage is surveyed, it is compared to a list of Damage Indicators (DIs) and Degrees of Damage (DoD) which help estimate better the range of wind speeds the tornado likely produced. From that, a rating (from EF0 to EF5) is assigned. In general, EF-0 tornadoes have 65-85 mph winds, EF-1 have 86-110 mph winds, EF-2 have 111-135 mph winds, EF-3 have 136-165 mph winds, EF-4 have 166-200 mph winds, and EF-5 tornadoes have winds in excess of 200 mph. The EF Scale was revised from the original Fujita Scale to reflect better examinations of tornado damage surveys so as to align wind speeds more closely with associated storm damage., with the new scale related to how most structures are designed.
According to the NOAA, in the period from 1950 to now, there have been a total of 184 reported tornado touch-downs in New Jersey, responsible for 80 injuries, 1 death, and more than $84 million in property damage. In a typical year, New Jersey will see 2-3 tornadoes. However, while the overall volume of severe storms and tornadoes has trended down significantly across the entire United States, the opposite has been occuring in New Jersey. In 2019 10 tornadoes were recorded while in 2020 the number dropped to 4; however, the number rose again to 13 in 2021.