What to Know
- Severe weather hit much of the tri-state area Wednesday, bringing damaging winds, hail and torrential rain — even a tornado
- The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado did touch down in Springfield, New Jersey, around 2:45 p.m.
- Most of the shower activity should tapered off heading into Thursday; bright and beautiful weather looks to return for the weekend
Damaging winds, torrential rain, hail — and even a tornado — hit the tri-state area Wednesday, bringing flash flooding and downed power lines through the afternoon and the evening rush.
The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado did touch down in Springfield, New Jersey, around 2:45 p.m. near Route 22 and Springfield Avenue. Video showed debris flying in the air, and another video of the aftermath showed HVAC equipment from atop a building had landed on a Mercedes-Benz.
Storm Team 4 recorded more than 160 lightning strikes in just 15 minutes in the area west of Newark Wednesday afternoon. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for a number of New Jersey and Hudson Valley counties throughout the afternoon and into the evening, with 60 mph winds and penny-sized hail coming down. One town in Ocean County saw golf ball-sized hail come down later in the night.
The first band of storms started moving into the area shortly after 1 p.m., with powerful cells hitting northern, central and southern coastal New Jersey all around the same time.
The storms wreaked havoc on all major local airports, as LaGuardia, JFK and Newark each called ground stops by early afternoon, and lasted into the evening hours for flights arriving to those airports. Late into Wednesday night, the airports were still reporting delays of at least five hours.
The rapid rainfall made for an extremely difficult evening commute for tens of thousands of people, with the storms knocking down trees and leading to ample reports of impassable streets due to flash floods. Check severe weather alerts for your neighborhood here.
Trees were reported knocked over or uprooted across Union, Middlesex, Monmouth and Warren counties in New Jersey, downing wires and landing on homes in some cases. Similar reports of damage were coming from New York's Sullivan and Ulster counties.
In the city, the damages were not nearly as bad, although a large tree did fall on a car parked on St. John's Place in Prospect Heights, between Washington and Underhill Avenues. The West Side Highway in Manhattan also appeared to have flooded after a deluge of rain was dumped on the city.
Muggy weather creeps in overnight and the warm, humid conditions will persist Thursday with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 80s. Overall the day looks to be much better than Wednesday, but there is a chance of showers or an isloated thunderstorm during the day before a cold front passes through Thursday night, Storm Team 4 says.
There is some good news: Bright and beautiful weather is expected to return just in time for the weekend.