A strong line of thunderstorms jolted many out of bed as it crossed New Jersey in the early morning hours.

Early Thursday's thunderstorm looking north towards Atlantic City from Margate (Larry Borden @larrywborden via Twitter)

The storms had more lightning and thunder associated with them according to posts on the National Weather Service's Mt. Holly office Facebook page with not a lot of heavy rain in many areas.

The lightning is being blamed for three house fires in south Jersey reports the South Jersey Times including an attic on Lynn Drive in West Deptford, a house on Hickory Lane in Harrison Township and a basement on Birch Street in Vineland. News 12 New Jersey reports lightning struck a tree in the front yard of a Middletown home.

Several thousand JCPL customers lost their power overnight in Ocean, Mercer and Monmouth counties especially in Berkeley Township; most customers have since been restored according to the utility's outage map.  Around 1,000 customers in Hopewell Township remain without power at 7:45 a.m. leaving some traffic lights working incorrectly on Route 579 and Route 29.

Over 1,600 customers are still without power in Egg Harbor Township according to the Atlantic City Electric outage map. During the storms customers in Cumberland County were also without power.

Meteorologist Alan Kasper says the storms were part of a cold front that is pushing the heat and humidity out of the state after two days of temperatures in the 90s in much of the state.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.