Thunderstorms Sweep Away NJ’s Early Taste of Spring, Bring Down Power Lines
TRENTON — New Jersey's taste of spring came to a noisy, wet end on Saturday night as a line of thunderstorms marched across the entire state.
"It is no surprise this cold front produced such a strong line of thunderstorms, given today's 70-degree temperatures. While the storms were brief, they offered a potent sample of springtime severe weather," WPG chief meteotologist Dan Zarrow said after the storms had passed.
Temperatures also dropped 15-20 degrees as the storms passed.
Winds hit 60 mph in Turnerville in South Jersey, 58 in Wantage and 55 in Blairstown, according to National Weather Service observations.
The wind also brought down overhead wires onto NJ Transit's Morris-Essex line in Monroe, which led to a suspension of service between Dover and Summit and 30-minute delays between Summit and New York. NJ Transit was busing between Summit and Morris Plains and Morristown.
Over 6,100 JCP&L customers, mostly in Sussex and Warren counties, were without power as of 7:45 p.m., according to the utility's outage map. Contributing to the outages were trees that fell onto Route 94 in Frelinghiuysen and Route 23 in Wantage.
There was flooding on Route 22 in Lopatcong near Roseberry Street that shut the highway and speed was reduced on the NJ Turnpike to 45 for a time.
The storms also caused one-hour delays in-and-out of Newark Liberty International Airport.
Space Farms and Zoo Museum in Sussex said on its Facebook page their blacksmith museum was collapsed by the storm as were two animal enclosures. Owner Jill Space on Twitter said the animals are indoors for the winter so the enclosures were empty.
Sunday will be a more seasonal day in New Jersey.
"A brisk northwesterly wind will deliver cooler air overnight. It's going to feel much more like February on Sunday," Zarrow said.