Severe T-storm watch for NJ until 8 p.m.: intense wind and rain

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Heat + Humidity + Lift (cold front) = Thunderstorms.

New Jersey’s summer heat streak is about to end on a high. A cold front will bring strong to severe thunderstorms Monday afternoon and evening. And unfortunately, the worst weather will coincide perfectly with the Monday evening trip.

The National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center released a Severe thunderstorm watch for __ of New Jersey’s 21 counties, effective until 8 p.m. Monday night. (The watch covers the whole state except the southernmost level of counties – Salem, Cumberland, Cape May.)

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for counties in pink through 8 p.m. Monday. (Townsquare Media / AerisWeather)
A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for counties in pink through 8 p.m. Monday. (Townsquare Media / AerisWeather)

A “watch” serves as a formal warning that potentially hazardous and potentially damaging weather conditions may occur. The watches cover a large geographical area, for a large time window of several hours. If extreme weather conditions become imminent – ​​wind gusts over 58 mph, quarter-size hail, flooding or tornadoes – much more specific and urgent warnings will be issued.

I’ve provided a full look at the forecast for Monday and beyond in my early morning weather blog post.

MONDAY FORECAST: Hot and humid, followed by severe thunderstorms

Here’s a bulleted list of what to expect from Monday’s storms:

-Hourly? A line of thunderstorms crashes into western New Jersey around 2 or 3 p.m. Monday, sweeping generally west to east. Thunderstorms are expected to decrease in intensity around sunset (8 p.m. or 9 p.m.)

-Geography? Based on timing and atmospheric parameters, Monday’s strongest storms will be in the western half of New Jersey. The western edge of the state — meaning counties adjacent to the Delaware River — is likely to experience the worst storms here.

—Biggest concern No. 1? Wind. A squall line driven by a cold front is a notorious wind machine. Gusts of over 40mph are likely – that’s the threshold for calling it a “strong” thunderstorm. A few strong gusts of wind over 60 mph are possible.

—Biggest concern #2? Heavy rain, resulting in puddles and flooding. One inch of rain over a short period of time is more than enough to produce puddles or flooding in low-drainage and low-lying areas. And coinciding with the evening commute, traffic could really be hampered by downpours.

– Any other worries? By definition, any thunderstorm contains lightning and is therefore potentially dangerous. There is also a chance of hail and a tornado or two from this storm system, especially initial (supercell) thunderstorms forming Monday afternoon.

Remember that the safest place during a thunderstorm is inside a sturdy building. Pay attention to changing weather conditions and be prepared to change your plans if things get dangerous. Never attempt to walk, swim or drive in flooded areas. In the end, common sense goes a long way – stay smart, be safe.

Stay with us – online and on air – for the latest news on this turbulent weather transition.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: Your forecast for 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

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