The strong thunderstorm that developed and quickly escalated early Tuesday afternoon generated a waterspout in the Atlantic Ocean off central Ocean County just after 2 p.m., according to JSHN contributor reports.
The waterspout, defined by NOAA as a “whirling column of air and water mist,” was spotted off Seaside Heights and Lavallette by JSHN contributors Jennifer Caswell and Matt Burk as well as Jerry Meaney, who runs the popular Facebook page Barnegat Bay Island, NJ.
Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, said that there was “nothing well defined on Doppler radar velocity” when the waterspout was spotted.
The storm that generated the waterspout continued heading northeast over the ocean. There were no reports from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding any boaters in distress.
The combination of ripe atmospheric conditions and a weak sea breeze spurred rapid thunderstorm development near the coast, according to the National Weather Service.