The National Weather Service in Mount Holly is sending out a damage survey team to multiple locations in northwestern Gloucester County this afternoon.
Their goal is to assess the damage and determine if the cause was a tornado, or straight-line winds from the severe thunderstorms that swept through South Jersey Tuesday evening.
Unless a tornado is caught on camera or is witnessed by emergency managers, police, or trained storm spotters, the detective work usually begins after the storms have passed.
Measured wind gusts of 70 miles per hour were common with Tuesday evening's squall line.
The survey team will analyze the damage to assess the scope and intensity of the winds that caused it.
Tornadoes usually have more focused damage, and cut a circular path through an area, scattering debris in multiple directions.
Straight-line winds typically impact a much larger area, scattering debris in a single direction.
After completing their survey, the National Weather Service will reach a conclusion and report their findings later today.
The last confirmed tornado to touchdown in South Jersey occurred on August 13th, 2013, when an EF-0 tornado touched down in Manahawkin in Ocean County. With maximum winds of 85 miles per hour, the tornado cut a path about two miles long, damaging several homes while on the ground.