By Matt Peterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a busy Friday for the National Weather Service as crews surveyed damage across the tri-state area following Thursday’s storms. As of Friday afternoon, the NWS says the storms spawned seven tornadoes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The severity of the rain and wind forced officials in Delaware Valley to use new wording for the damage.

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“Rather it be just a blanket tornado warning that we have been issuing for decades, we updated the way we issue our warnings to include more specific information we are seeing on radar,” Jason Franklin, the Meteorologist In Charge for the NWS Mount Holly Office, said.

The “particularly dangerous situation” designation is saved for instances where the National Weather Service uses more reports from the field, along with radar tools. This allows meteorologists to assess the intensity of storms, not just the possible location of the tornado.

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“We can see debris that is rotating around the tornado and we call that a debris ball,” Franklin said.

Thursday’s onslaught of tornadoes isn’t new to the area; Berks County saw an EF-3 in 1998, while a deadly EF-3 tornado hit Montgomery County four years earlier.

However, this week was the first time the PDS designation has ever been used.

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Five teams moved across the tri-state area to survey damage from Lehigh Valley to the Delaware Beaches.