The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch for 13 New Jersey counties until 7 p.m. Friday.

The watch comes as the weekend heat began to arrive on Friday with high temperatures in the 80s under sunny skies.

New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said things related to the weekend heat have developed quickly over the past 24 hours including a piece of energy driving the storms could clip the northern part of the state.

The ingredients for strong storms are there, according to Zarrow

"There will be storms. But let's see how things come together," Zarrow said. "Gusty winds and downpours are the biggest concerns. Especially north and west, around dinnertime."

Thunderstorms that develop could contain damaging wind gusts of 70 mph and isolated very large hail up to two inches in diameter.

The watch covers the following counties:

  • Burlington
  • Camden
  • Gloucester
  • Hunterdon
  • Mercer
  • Middlesex
  • Monmouth
  • Morris
  • Ocean
  • Salem
  • Somerset
  • Sussex
  • Warren

A "watch" serves as a formal heads-up that potentially dangerous, potentially damaging weather may occur. Watches cover a broad geographical area, for a wide time window of several hours. If severe weather becomes imminent — 58+ mph wind gusts, quarter-sized hail, flooding or tornadoes — much more specific and urgent warnings will be issued.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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