The National Weather Service is warning of yet another round of severe storms Tuesday with a flash flood watch and an outside shot of “a few tornadoes,” and if that has a cut-and-paste feel to it, it should.
So far this year, 33 tornadoes have been confirmed in Pennsylvania, more than double the annual average of 16, the weather service reports.
In New Jersey, the total is eight, quadruple the annual average. While impressive, those totals aren’t records; in 1985, the year of a horrific and deadly outbreak at the end of May, 105 tornadoes were confirmed in Pennsylvania.
For various reasons, including improved detection, social media, and changes in development patterns, “it’s hard to say ‘on average you can have this many,’” said Trent Davis, a weather service meteorologist in the Mount Holly office.
But without question, he said, this has been quite an active period around here. In July, 12 “thunderstorm days” were recorded at the official measuring station at Philadelphia International Airport. That was tied for the most in a July since 1985.
August already has had six — the monthly long-term average is five — along with two confirmed tornadoes in the Garden State: one in Millville, and the other in Hightstown, Mercer County.
Both, which occurred Wednesday, were EF-0s on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds of 70 to 75 mph, and resulted in no reported injuries, the weather service said during the weekend.
Circular winds did tear up a greenhouse in Hightstown and wrecked some solar panels in Millville, according to weather service investigators.
Pennsylvania’s 33 twisters include tornadoes verified in Bucks, Berks, and Lehigh Counties.
A portion of Berks, most of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and the rest of the Philadelphia region are in the government’s Storm Prediction Center “enhanced” zone for severe weather on Tuesday, defined as the potential for wind gusts near 60 mph or better.
The storm center says the atmosphere over the region once again will swell with water vapor on Tuesday in advance of a storm-inciting front approaching from the west.
Shower chances linger into Wednesday and Thursday, but “hopefully, things quiet down after this,” Davis said.