A tornado touched down in the US state of New Jersey. The natural phenomenon caused minor damage to Mount Laurel Industrial Plaza construction site in Philadelphia. The severe weather system also “flipped a car” and “caused roof damages” before dissipating, local authorities said.
The Weather Service said: “Ceiling tiles were also dislodged throughout the interior of the building”.
Surveillance video showed the tornado with winds up to 70mph touching down shortly after 2pm local time on Saturday.
Meteorologist Alex Staarmann of the weather service office in Mount Holly said the tornado “was very brief”.
He said: “It touched down in the parking lot of the building, flipped the car and moved over the building, then dissipated when it was over the building.”
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Robert Deal, service manager at Castle Windows, told the Burlington County Times: “Initially, I thought it was a hailstorm, then the ceiling tiles started to lift up and something big was coming through. It was like a freight train.”
According to Mr Deal, the tornado led to between 25 to 30 people being evacuated from the building.
In addition, the gas was shut off as a precaution.
The weather system is known as a so-called ‘landspout tornado’.
Meteorologist Dean Iovino said landspout spins from the ground during thunderstorm activity rather than dropping from a cloud.
Such formations are difficult to pick up on the Doppler radar because they are close to the ground and below a radar beam.
Tornadoes come from mainly two types of thunderstorms: supercell and non-supercell.
A landspout is a non-supercell tornado and are identified by the circulations that do not form from organised storm-scale rotation.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a “landspout is a tornado with a narrow, rope-like condensation funnel that forms while the thunderstorm cloud is still growing and there is no rotating updraft – the spinning motion originates near the ground.”
These type of tornadoes tend to be smaller than supercell tornadoes.