After last Saturday evening’s thunder, lightning, and heavy rain, another round of severe thunderstorms is possibly on the way this week at the Jersey Shore.
And yes, we just double checked our calender: it’s still only late February.
Like last Saturday, the thunderstorms could form ahead of a cold front, sparking due to the atmospheric instability as mild and cooler air clash, according to the National Weather Service.
Cooler air and sunny skies will settle in for Thursday, but not before the potential of stormy conditions late in the day on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center places Ocean, Atlantic, and Cape May counties in the “slight risk” category for severe thunderstorm development.
The means a chance of organized severe storms with varying levels of intensity that are not widespread.
The risk is lower — “marginal” — in Monmouth County.
The thunderstorm chance will begin later in the afternoon and continue through the evening hours, with the primary hazard being strong damaging winds, according to the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ.
Heavy rain is also possible, leading to flooding in poor drainage locations, and forecasters are not ruling out hail. Lighting is always a possibility.
Despite a cooler air mass in place at the coast early Saturday evening, the storms survived the push to the coast, although they lost severe criteria just before striking the beach communities.
NOAA defines a severe thunderstorm as producing hail at least one of the following: hail at one-inch in diameter, a wind gust of 58 miles per hour or greater, or a tornado.