A water tornado formed Saturday afternoon in Barnegat Bay, and a coastal weather front caused heavy rain, wind and hail.
The water tornado was reported about 2:30 p.m. over the water off Seaside Bay, said Brian Haynes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.
The Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company said on Twitter that the tornado was seen between Toms River and Seaside Heights, just north of the Highway 37 bridge.
The weather service issued a special marine warning for coastal waters from Manasquan Bay to Little Egg Bay and advised vessels to seek harbor immediately. Water tornadoes can create dangerous sea conditions and can easily capsize boats, the weather service said.
Although not an everyday occurrence, water tornadoes form along the coast when conditions are right for it, Haynes said.
“I would say it’s certainly not constant, but we definitely have occasional water tornadoes here,” Haynes said.