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Strong Cold Front Rips Through Central Florida

Posted on Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 5:00 PM MST

THE INTERSTATE 4 CORRIDOR -- A strong cold front ripped through Central Florida this afternoon, bringing strong winds, blinding rain, lightning, microbursts, and tornado warnings from Tampa to Daytona Beach. In Pinellas County, we saw mainly a rain/wind event, with a few rumbles of thunder (the majority of the lightning was actually down in the Fort Myers-Port Charlotte area).

I was at Publix when the worst of the storms came through the St. Pete area, but did see a rotating wall cloud fly by overhead as I left the store. I rushed home and checked the weather reports. Just as I logged on, the first tornado warning had just been issued for Hillsborough County for a radar-detected tornado over MacDill AFB. I started to chase it, but then realized since it was moving at 55-60 mph, there was no way in hell I could catch it (and even if I did, it was HP, so there was nothing to photograph).

The cell marched right along I-4 and the tornado warnings preceded it right across the state, and it exited Florida between Melbourne and Daytona Beach. Tornado warning were up for this storm from 3:00 PM until about 6:00. There were no confirmed tonadoes in the Tampa area, but there were a few microbursts clocked at hurricane strength, close to 80 mph.

Posted In: Chase Recaps

Tagged: Cold Front, Straight Line Winds, Funnel Cloud