Hazy, hot and humid conditions across the region gave way to severe thunderstorms containing heavy rain, strong winds and hail.
Several scattered power outages were being reported as a result of the storm front.
Jersey Central Power and Light is reporting that 16,000 customers are now without power. Two-thirds of those outages are in northern New Jersey and 5,000 reported in the central part of the state.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company said the storms interrupted service to about 8,000 PSE&G customers, mostly in Passaic County. The state's largest utility has additional crews on hand throughout the evening to respond to outages.
Connecticut Light & Power says the number of customers without power late Wednesday afternoon was 26,000, down from 33,000 a few hours earlier. United Illuminating, the smaller of Connecticut's two major utilities, reported only a few outages.
A severe thunderstorm watch in effect until 9 pm tonight. Joe Picca, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the storms could cause several problems. “The primary threats are heavy rain leading to some localized flooding, lots of cloud to ground lightening, some hail is also possible with some of these storms, and also gusty winds that have the potential to cause some damage, knock over some trees.”
View photos of the storm.
The storms have helped end the most recent heat wave. Temperatures in most areas had soared into the high 90s by early Wednesday afternoon, while heat indexes reached as high as 107 degrees in some spots.
Temperatures were expected to return to normal on Thursday, with highs expected in the upper 80s.
With the Associated Press