🔴 The storms moved through late Friday morning into the early afternoon

🔴 A possible funnel cloud over Pemberton Township is under investigation

🔴 A Thunderstorm Watch for the entire state was quickly dropped

The strong line of thunderstorms that moved through New Jersey spawned a tornado.

A survey team from the National Weather Service in Mount Holly confirmed an EF-0 tornado touched down in  a sparsley populated area of Pemberton Township. The top wind was 80 mph with a width of 200 yards.

The tornado began in Southampton Township near Burrs Mill Road south of Ongs Hat Road. It crossed Ongs Hat Road and Stockton Bridge Road where some additional minor tree damage occurred. The tornado moved into a wooded wetland where along Jade Run. It continued east and crossed Magnolia Road bringing down several branches. It crossed the road again and paralleled Sheep Pen Hill Road before heading into a blueberry field and dissipating.

"Wow, Friday afternoon's thunderstorms escalated quickly. This quick spin-up was somewhat overshadowed by torrential rain and very strong straight-line winds," NJ 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said, adding that the rotation of the storm looked strong on radar.

"I can't believe this is New Jersey's 9th tornado of 2023. And the year isn't even half over! And our peak severe weather season - July and August - has yet to come," Zarrow said.

Enhanced Fujita Scale
Enhanced Fujita Scale (NOAA)

Pemberton Township police reported seeing a funnel cloud in the vicinity of Country Lakes, which is not far from where a wildfire in the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest burned 850 acres just a week ago.

A wind gust of 61 mph was recorded at the Joint Base Dix-McGuire-Lakehurst in Burlington County while a gust of 55 mph was recorded in Lakehurst.

Rotation over Pembertown Township 6/16/23
Rotation over Pembertown Township 6/16/23 (Radarscope)


Approximately 1,200 JCP&L customers in Plumstead and Jackson lost power right after the storm but the number dropped to 657 customers as of 4 p.m.

JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig said numerous trees and branches that fell on lines along Homestead Road in Jackson off Route 571 knocked out power for nearly 2,000 customers.

"We were able to resolve it just by getting the tree limb off the line and refusing it," JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig told New Jersey 101.5.

Branches on lines have caused most of the outages, according to Hoenig. Once a branch is removed, the line is re-energized and power is restored.

Zarrow said the storms dropped about an inch of rain in some areas.  The rain may not do much to alleviate our dry conditions as the water runs off too quickly to be absorbed.

The storms moved through quickly that a Thunderstorm Watch issued for 13 counties was canceled.

Dark clouds over Lakewood 6/16/23
Dark clouds over Lakewood 6/16/23 (The Lakewood Scoop)

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