Saturday is shaping up to be one of those hot and sticky summer days where you want to keep your eyes on the sky, with a round of rain expected in the morning, followed by a series of afternoon storms that could turn violent .
Forecasters from the National Weather Service say afternoon storms could be strong enough to produce heavy rains, frequent lightning strikes, hail, and wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph capable of breaking tree branches and power lines. There is even a small chance of an isolated tornado.
Although no formal storm alerts or warnings have been issued anywhere in New Jersey as of 9:45 a.m., some are likely to be released in the afternoon, when the strongest storm is expected to arrive from Pennsylvania.
UPDATE (3:05 pm Saturday): A severe storm warning has been issued for parts of Morris County (west-central), Hunterdon County (northwest), and Warren County (south region) in New Jersey, as well as parts of eastern Pennsylvania, in effect until 3:45 pm
UPDATE (3:15 pm Saturday): A severe storm alert, not as urgent as a warning, was issued for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties, in effect until 8 pm
UPDATE: (3:40 pm Saturday): A severe storm warning was issued for parts of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Warren counties, in effect until 4:30 pm Service said. Expect considerable tree damage. Mobile homes, roofs and outhouses are likely to be damaged. ”
UPDATE (4:20 pm on Saturday): A severe storm warning was issued for sections of Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Somerset counties, in effect until 5:15 pm, with potential wind gusts of 60 mph.
UPDATE (5:15 pm Saturday): A severe storm warning was issued for Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties, effective until 6 pm, with gusts of 60 mph and hail the size of a penny.
A batch of light showers and thunderstorms moved through central Pennsylvania early Saturday morning and are traversing parts of New Jersey between 9 am and 11 am, the Mount Holly weather service office said.
“The second and main period of concern for severe storms is expected this afternoon and evening,” the weather service said in a storm forecast message.
The wind shear, along with the heat generated by temperatures of nearly 90 degrees on Saturday afternoon, will add to instability in the atmosphere, increasing the risk of developing thunderstorms, forecasters said.
While it is difficult to determine which areas of the state will be affected by the strongest thunderstorms, and the timing of the storms, the weather service said the rain will likely “start moving southeast, affecting much of the Interstate corridor. 95 and parts of the coastal plain in the late afternoon and evening. “
Some scattered showers and thunderstorms could persist through Saturday night, and more isolated thunderstorms could develop on Sunday, another hot and humid day with temperatures reaching 90 degrees.
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