The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued a Tornado Watch for portions of the Jersey Shore.
The watch for Atlantic and Cape May counties is in effect until 11:00 p.m. today.
A watch means that “atmospheric conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes,” according to the National Weather Service.
That differs from a warning, which is issued when a severe thunderstorm “has developed and his either produced a tornado or radar has indicated intense low level rotation in the presence of atmospheric conditions conducive to tornado development.”
A cold front associated with a strong low pressure system will sweep through the region tonight, potentially delivering severe thunderstorms.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center places the entire Shore in the “slight” risk category for severe thunderstorms, implying that scattered severe storms that are “short-lived and/or not widespread” are possible.
Damaging winds are possible, with southerly gusts up to 50 miles per hour, according to a National Weather Service Wind Advisory.
“The strongest winds should occur near bands of heavy showers or thunderstorms, most likely between 9 p.m. and midnight,” the advisory states.