A tornado watch was issued for most of New Jersey as the threat of severe storms Friday afternoon increased.
The watch is in effect until 7 p.m. for 13 counties as well as parts of Delaware and large parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania, the National Weather Service said.
Surveillance in New Jersey applies to Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties.
In addition to a possible tornado, the weather service notes the risk of hail 2 inches in diameter and wind gusts of up to 70 mph.
A watch is less urgent than a warning and means that conditions could be favorable for its development. If a tornado warning were to be issued, it means one has been spotted.
Forecasters are also increasingly concerned about severe thunderstorms, especially in the western half of the state. Storms in New Jersey could develop anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., forecasters say.
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Jeff Goldman can be reached at [email protected].