Severe Thunderstorm Watch for all of NJ through Tuesday evening
Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren.
A "watch" serves as a formal "heads up" that conditions are ripe for severe weather to occur. It does not mean dangerous weather is guaranteed or occurring at the time of issuance. (That's a "warning".)
Tuesday's watch specifically notes the following severe weather impacts for New Jersey:
--Widespread damaging winds with isolated significant gusts to 80 mph
--Scattered large hail to 2 inches in diameter possible
--A tornado or two possible
In addition, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for central and southern New Jersey from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Several inches of rain falling in a short time period could inundate storm drains and cause waterways to overflow their banks.
Tuesday's official outlook from the Storm Prediction Center puts northern New Jersey in a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather, the 2rd highest of 5 risk categories. That equates to a 60% chance of severe wind, a 15% chance of severe hail, and a 5% chance of a tornado. An area of "Enhanced Risk" extends southward to about Interstate 195. Inland South Jersey is under a "Slight Risk". And even the Jersey Shore has been upgraded to a "marginal risk" for severe weather Tuesday evening.
Here's my estimation of when storms will arrive in your county, give or take an hour:
--3 p.m... Sussex
--4 p.m... Morris, Passaic, Warren
--5 p.m... Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon
--6 p.m... Burlington, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Union
--7 p.m... Camden, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
--8 p.m... Atlantic, Cumberland
--9 p.m... Cape May
It is very important to remain "weather-aware" as this line of powerful thunderstorms approaches. Tuesday evening's commute will be particularly nasty. Common sense and vigilance go a long way on severe weather days — monitor changing weather conditions carefully and be prepared to seek shelter in a sturdy building as storms approach and/or when warnings are issued.