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📰 N.J. weather: Severe thunderstorm watch issued, with threat of strong storms and 60 mph winds -

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for 19 of the 21 counties in New Jersey, along with all of eastern Pennsylvania, saying conditions are favorable for strong thunderstorms to develop Monday evening and Monday night.

Forecasters say showers and thunderstorms are expected to start forming across the Interstate 81 corridor in Pennsylvania and move northeast into eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.

High temperatures near 90 degrees, combined with high humidity and heavy moisture from the Southwest, could boost the severity of some of the thunderstorms, the National Weather Service said, noting some storm cells could generate large hail, frequent lightning and damaging wind gusts as strong as 60 to 70 mph.

The thunderstorm watch, issued at about 4:30 p.m. Monday, is effective until midnight and also includes most counties in eastern Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia metro region.

Areas shaded in yellow are under a severe thunderstorm watch on Monday, June 21, with damaging wind gusts, large hail and frequent lightning possible in isolated storms.National Weather Service

The New Jersey counties under the thunderstorm watch are Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

Bergen and Hudson counties are not included in the thunderstorm watch area.

Because of the heat and high humidity, a heat advisory is in effect through 8 p.m. Monday in four New Jersey counties - Camden, Gloucester, Mercer and northwestern Burlington - along with Philadelphia and other parts of southeastern Pennsylvania.

Temperatures in those areas are expected to rise into the low 90s Monday afternoon, and forecasters say the humidity will make it feel as hot as the upper 90s.

As of 2 p.m., the mercury hit 87 degrees at Philadelphia International Airport, but the humidity made it feel as hot as 93 degrees. Newark Liberty Airport clocked in at 88 degrees, with a heat index of 92, while Trenton Mercer Airport reported an air temperature of 84 degrees and a heat index of 90.

UPDATE (6:45 p.m.): The temperature later climbed to 90 degrees in Philadelphia, 92 degrees in Newark, 87 degrees in Trenton and 88 degrees at Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona. For Newark and Philadelphia, this was the third straight day with 90-degree temperatures, making this their second heat wave of the year.

A heat advisory is in effect through 8 p.m. Monday, June 21, in Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties, along with northwestern Burlington, Philadelphia and other parts of southeastern Pennsylvania.National Weather Service

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Len Melisurgo may be reached at

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