The National Weather Service confirmed that two tornadoes and a microbust impacted New Jersey during a brief but violent period of weather early on the morning of June 24.
After surveying damage, conducting field interviews, and reviewing RADAR imagery, the Mount Holly, NJ office of the National Weather Service confirmed that two distinct tornadoes touched down in Howell Township, New Jersey.
One was documented and shared on social media; it touched down in the southeastern corner of a Home Depot near Route 9 and traveled south just to the west of Route 9. A storm survey found several trees uprooted and snapped in The Home Depot parking lot; in the same shopping center, metal roofing from a Chase Bank was torn and later found a half mile away. According to the National Weather Service, numerous large hardwood trees were uprooted with others snapped toward the top of the trunks at the southbound jug handle on Route 9 and West Farms Road as the tornado tracked to the southeast. Numerous uprooted and snapped trees were found in Ideal Plaza. A large metal container for clothing donations was knocked over. Three cars that were parked in the shopping center parking lot at the time the tornado moved through were pushed into each other. The storm then caused roofing and siding damage to the building occupied by Ice Cream on 9. A fence and additional trees were downed on the property as well. The cloth draping on a nearby billboard sign was torn off. According to the National Weather Service, this tornado likely dissipated shortly after. Evidence from the storm survey and radar indicated the tornado tracked to the southeast adjacent to the south bound side of Route 9 for a half mile and was on the ground for less than two minutes.
The second tornado formed just a few miles east of the first on the opposite side of Manasquan Reservoir. A storm survey found a second tornado about 3.5 miles to the east-southeast of the first tornado. This tornado tracked briefly through Oak Glen Park. A large pine tree near a soccer field in the park was snapped toward the base of the trunk and several large metal trash cans were pushed over, with all of these damage indicators facing to the southeast. On the other side of the soccer field, numerous hardwood trees were uprooted, falling to the northeast. There were additional downed trees in the park as the storm moved southeast before quickly dissipating.
The Howell tornadoes were each rated EF-0 on a 0-5 scale. This scale, knwon as the Enhanced Fujita Scale, classifies tornadoes based on their wind speeds. EF-0 tornadoes have wind speeds 65 to 85 mph; 1 has winds 86 to 110mph; 2 has winds 111-135mph; 3 has winds 136-165mph; 4 has winds 166-200mph; 5 has winds in excess of 200mph.
A third site investigated by National Weather Service meteorologists in Browns Mills, NJ was determined to be a microburst rather than a tornado. A path of damage began on Crescent Drive with several downed trees and power lines. The damage then extended southeast onto Trenton Road where multiple power poles were downed. Sporadic damage then occurred on Broadway and Pear Roads. Damage was also noted on either side of Mirror Lake with a few more trees that were taken down. Several signs point to this being straight line wind damage. All the trees were pointed to the southeast as the wind came in from the west and northwest. Also, the damage was concentrated at first but the spanned outward from a path in both directions typical of a microburst. A microburst is a sudden, powerful, localized air current, typically a downdraft. Microbursts lack rotation seen in tornadoes which would typically spiral-out the damage they create.