Menacing Funnel Clouds Appear Over Little Egg Harbor
More tornadoes? Actually, no.
Twin funnel clouds were seen in Little Egg Harbor on Tuesday afternoon may have looked scary, especially after five tornadoes around New Jersey this year, but it was really quite harmless.
WPG Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said Wednesday that it was a "cold air funnel" that forms when the upper atmosphere is unusually cold but the lower atmosphere is relatively warm.
"They rarely touch the ground and are almost always very weak. Just fascinating (and a bit scary) to look at," Zarrow said.
New Jersey has had five recorded tornadoes during the spring and summer, including a 60-mile swath of straight-line winds from Camden County to Monmouth County that caused hundreds of trees to fall onto power lines and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of homes.
A downburst storm on Thursday blew through Ewing with 80 mph winds damaging 100 trees, uprooting 20 trees and destroying a house.
There were also two tornadoes in Mount Laurel within a week of each other, including one that flipped over a parked car. Other tornadoes were reported in Stanhope, Mullica Hill and a waterspout off Fortescue.
Zarrow said there is no specific reason for the high number of tornado and straight-line wind events.
"It's just been a warm, wet spring and summer. That's an explosive combination in the atmosphere," Zarrow said.