As forecast, a line of potent thunderstorms blew through the Mid Atlantic yesterday as a cold front moved in; considerable damage to homes and trees were reported in New Jersey. The National Weather Service has evaluated damage in Haddon Heights in Camden County, Toms River in Ocean County, and Lawrenceville Township in Mercer County.
Based in Mount Holly, New Jersey, the local National Weather Service office says that based on pictures, video clips, and eyewitness accounts provided by the local Emergency Management officials and the general public, along with other weather observation data, they have concluded that the damage was caused by straight-line winds and not a tornado.
Severe thunderstorms that moved through this area produced wind gusts in the 60-80 mph range. Winds of that potency can blown down trees and produce damage to homes and other structures.
While the National Weather Service has confirmed tornadoes did not touch down in these three Garden State communities, they continue to investigate the storm conditions around Normandy Beach in Monmouth County. According to the National Weather Service, small-scale circulations were seen and recorded immediately ahead of the advancing cold front, which in some cases induced waterspouts over back bay and oceanfront areas. The National Weather Service added that these circulations were not strong enough to cause the damage experienced by other communities in New Jersey.
George Nickolas Tweeted to Weatherboy after the storm a video that appears to be one such circulation over the water.
— George Nickolas (@gwnikolis) April 21, 2020
While the severe weather prompted Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to be issued in New Jersey, no Tornado Warnings were. However, the National Weather Service did have a Tornado Warning in effect for New York City, the Bronx, and Nassau County for a RADAR-indicated tornado there.
During this week’s severe weather outbreak, one key weather RADAR unit was down in New Jersey. The National Weather Service is in the process of upgrading it; it should return to service in 2 weeks.