Severe weather blew through New Jersey today, triggering numerous severe weather warnings. One area of concern is in central New Jersey where Tornado Warnings were issued for a tornado-indicated RADAR scan; based on damage reported on the ground, the National Weather Service will send a field crew out to investigate whether or not an actual tornado hit.
In a brief statement shared on social media, the Mount Holly, New Jersey based office of the National Weather Service said survey crews will be sent out to explore and review storm damage that occurred as severe weather rolled through during the afternoon. “Details, determination, and any potential damage ratings will be updated late tomorrow via social media and the Public Information Statement on our website as more information becomes available,” they wrote. In another Public Information Statement issued this evening, the office said they expect their final report to be completed and transmitted by 4 pm Wednesday.
With a RADAR-indicated tornado, the National Weather Service had issued a Tornado Warning for portions of Mercer and Middlesex County around and just before 4pm. Pea to marble sized hail was reported in portions of central New Jersey from the severe storms, including reports of wind damage. There was apparent wind damage to trees, buildings, and vehicles in the areas of Edinburg, Quaker Bridge, and West Windsor but it is still too early to know with certainty whether a tornado was responsible or if the damage was created by straight-line winds.
While it’ll take until tomorrow to determine whether or not a tornado touched down, the National Weather Service did confirm the presence of a water spout near the coast of Spring Lake Heights in Monmouth County’s Sea Girt Using footage shared by a broadcast media outlet, the weather service confirmed that a water spout was indeed observed over the water from the severe storms that pushed through New Jersey. The water spout was short-lived and was recorded at 4:30 pm. A water spout is a tornado over water.
Tornadoes in February are very rare in New Jersey with only four on record; three occurred in 1973 and 1 hit in 1999. There was a Tornado Warning issued for a storm in 2020 but it was later determined that no tornado touched down from that severe weather event. The winter of 2023 and 1973 have something else in common too: they’re both winters with little to no snow reported in the region. The winter of 1973 is the only full winter that went without any measurable snow in nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.