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2/2/07 DISC: FL

  • Thread starter Alexandre Aguiar
  • Start date

Alexandre Aguiar

Fox News is reporting now that severe storms caused an unknown number of fatalities in Central Florida. AP just reported the same:

An unknown number of people were killed early Friday as severe thunderstorms struck central Florida, damaging homes and causing power outages, officials said. A dispatcher at the Lake County Sheriff's Office confirmed that there had been fatalities. The woman, who would not give her name, said that damage had included "every kind of damage you can think of."

http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/16606634.htm

From the Orlando Sentinel:

A severe line of thunderstorms and tornados overnight across Volusia and Lake counties has shut down I-4 in both directions, caused severe accidents and shut down power to thousands of Central Florida residents.

Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Miller said tornadoes and severe weather caused wrecks on Interstate 4 near State Road 44 in DeLand involving five tractor trailers and two vehicles. Three people were taken to the hospital , but none of their injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

EVAC Ambulance spokesman Mark O'Keefe said paramedics currently are working 50 trauma, medical and injury calls in that area.

All westbound lanes of I-4 remain closed, but one lane of eastbound has reopened. Miller said trees have snapped and fallen on the roadway and some of the semis are overturned on the highway.

"We want to get these trucks off the road as soon as possible," she said. FHP crews hope to have the roadway open by 7 a.m. Debris on State Road 44 near the interstate also caused another semi-truck to wreck, Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught said. FHP also reports there is debris in the roadway on U.S. Highway 17-92 near Spring Garden Avenue and that a tree has fallen onto Interstate 95 in the southbound lanes near mile marker 251 in New Smyrna Beach.

Three Seminole County Fire/Rescue transport-capable rescue units were dispatched to Lake County at 4:45 a.m. for a "mass casualty incident," according to officials.

Deputies from the Lake County Sheriff's Office had set up a command post at the Villages, the massive retirement community that encompasses parts of Lake, Marion and Sumter counties, where a tornado hit earlier this morning, said department spokeswoman Christie Mysinger.

"We have several unconfirmed fatalities and many injuries, structural damage to homes, trees and power lines down in roads," Mysinger said. "We are asking residents to stay in their homes if they don?t have to be on the roads. If they must be on the roads, please use main roads and not back roads due to the debris."

Mysinger added that deputies were also checking reports of a possible tornado in the eastern corner of Lake, where it meets with Volusia and Seminole counties. That east Eustis-Deland area hadn't been inspected yet.

More than 20,000 customers were without power in the swath between Marion and Volusia counties, including the cities of Leesburg and DeLand, said Progress Energy spokesperson Cherie Jacobs.

Crews were on scene overnight trying to restore electricity but could not work in the high winds. No timetable was set for when power could be back on. Volusia 911 dispatchers have received several calls reporting multiple tornadoes in the DeLand area with serious debris and many power outages, officials said. There is also a report of damage in Lady Lake. The National Weather Service earlier reported that a tornado touched down at Lake Ashby.

Schools in Volusia County will remain open, officials said.

"There may be some delays with buses," spokeswoman Nancy Wait said. "We just ask that parents use their judgment as far as safety in the area."

Reports of serious wind damage in Orange City. Power lines are snapped over the highway at 17-92, billboards have been knocked down and vehicles have been damaged. Officials report no storm-related calls currently in the Deltona area, but rescue workers there are assisting in the DeLand area at mobile home parks, searching for occupants and injuries. In Seminole County, authorities are checking for wind damage and trying to determine if a tornado indicated on radar touched down just before 6 a.m., north of downtown Oviedo and continuing northeast over Geneva.

Expect scattered showers and thunderstorms moving east from Lake to Volusia with some brief heavy rains and gusty winds through 7 a.m. Flooding on roadways is possible.
 
345-400 AM is when the warnings went out, I woke up and checked my weather and noticed a tornado watch for Florida and i clicked and saw warnings go out. First warning for Lake County was about 330 AM EST. And more to follow. CNN, FOX NEWS, and others are following it along with the link posted above
 
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One persistent cell ahead of the line had warnings from about 3:30 am EST until it left the east coast around 4:45 am. The remaining line included embedded cell that continued to receive warnings through at least 5:00am. I was surprised to see a local broadcast met for Fox 35 display SRM radial velocity radar scans on air. This is a rarity for Florida mets in my experience. As it turns out, he was from the OK/TX area. The couplets were impressive for Florida...in January. I'll try to post a captured gif or two when I can get to it. Not to complain, but doesn't this post belong as a DISC thread in Reports as a recent event?
 
i think states should make it law to have NOAA weather radios in each and every house/school (probably already there anyways) ect.

Sirens arent meant to warn people already in their houses. someone should tell the news channels that
 
i think states should make it law to have NOAA weather radios in each and every house/school (probably already there anyways) ect.

Sirens arent meant to warn people already in their houses. someone should tell the news channels that

I'm not really sure how this fits into the current breaking news story, but its a typical knee jerk reaction. Your comments just resonate everything that is wrong with the media. Heart disease kills almost 1 million Americans a year, and the key to our safety is weather radios? Because 14 people died.
 
Engineers on CNN say that that church I think Our Lady of God Church(guessing) in Lady Lake could have with stood up to 150 mph winds and it is completely flattened and destroyed.....powerful.
 
CENTRAL FLORDIA TORNADOES

I was up monitoring radar this morning as a squall line, ahead of a strong cold front, moved through Central Florida. Shear values went up dramatically and a supercell formed and moved across Sumter, Lake, and Volusia counties. I live in Seminole County but chose not to head north to intercept since, 1) most tornadoes that form in this kind of setup in Florida are rain-wrapped, 2) the cell was moving at 50-65mph, and 3) it was, of course, dark. This storm will again point out the need for folks to have a NOAA weather radio in their home as the death toll stands at 14 and will likely go higher. Shown below is a velocity shot of the cell as it moved across Interstate 4 a couple of counties north of Orlando. It is not unusal for us to have tornadic storms in Central Florida during an El Nino winter. In fact, we have had tornadoes on November 7th, November 18th, Christmas Day and now on Groundhog Day! All of that and we have not even reached the climatological peak for severe weather which occurs in the last two weeks of February/first two weeks of March. I am headed to the National Chasers Convention in Denver in a couple of weeks and plan to chase in the Plains several times this Spring. For now, however, the action is right here close to home!

Terry
www.SignificantEvent.com

TORCF.jpg
 
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Is anybody more familiar with how widespread the damage is? How many different towns?

It looks very widespread on tv, but you never know. They could be showing the same neighborhood.
 
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Is anybody more familiar with how widespread the damage is? How many different towns?

It looks very widespread on tv, but you never know. They could be showing the same neighborhood.

I have been hearing from Northern Sumter County from just west of The Villages through Lady Lake(3 dead) to Paisley(11 dead) through Deland and into New Smyrna Beach. SO a little around 50 miles of damage. I don't think this was ALL one tornado but it looks incredible.
 
I, like many of you, was monitoring the situation late last night. I couldn't believe the strength and appearance of this monster supercell as it moved across central Florida. I even noticed on the radial velocity how one couplet weakened as another strengthened south and west of the original. I guess I would venture to say it looked like a cyclic supercell, which is very uncommon in FL, but it's interesting because I recall during 1998 we had a similar tornadic even in the Kissimee area. That was also an El-Nino year, so we are feeling the effects of the El-Nino, even if it isn't the strongest. Well anyway, here are some of the animtated radial and base scans:

Feb12007baseanimationregional.gif
http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s307/mda02/Feb12007baseanimationregional.gif?t=1170436606

This is the regional radar from just before the storm hit Umatilla, FL.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s307/mda02/Feb12007radvelregional.gif?t=1170436569

This is the regional SRM from the same time. The storm was just NW of Eustis at this time.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s307/mda02/Feb12007baseanimation-1.gif?t=1170436490

Here is a closer look at the storm that caused all the devistation. This is from around the same time as above. Notice the apparent hook echo NW of Eustis, FL.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s307/mda02/Feb12007animation.gif?t=1170436530

Here's a closer look at the very noteable couplet as the storm was just about to strike Umatilla, FL.
 
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I have heard one mention of NOAA weather radio on CNN by Chad Meyer. He basically described it as a "box that you plug into the wall, and for maybe 10 years it will collect dust but, when a tornado emergency hits it will yell out tones from the national weather service." Hmm that explanation right there makes me want to jump out of bed and buy 10! None of these communities had tornado sirens. Shocking.
 
I just thought it was a particularly bold statement to say that we need a nationwide law to make weather radios mandatory. Smoke detectors aren't even mandatory. Sure, they may be required in new construction or rentals, but nothing says you can't take the batteries out.

I'd say that Chad Meyers on CNN is doing a particularly good job. He has mentioned weather radios a few times.
 
I just thought it was a particularly bold statement to say that we need a nationwide law to make weather radios mandatory. Smoke detectors aren't even mandatory. Sure, they may be required in new construction or rentals, but nothing says you can't take the batteries out.

I'd say that Chad Meyers on CNN is doing a particularly good job. He has mentioned weather radios a few times.

And to add onto that he is probably still a little shaken about the fact that his mom and dad live 3 miles north of the damage path. I thought it was an odd description of the NWR, but he is by far and away blowing away other coverage from the meteorological side of this story.
 
I'm watching the WESH coverage right now. This is a topic over in W&C, about the public's perspective of the (E)F-Scale. The reporter in the field mentioned that some have said the damage is about 1/4 mile wide, which "might be consistent with an (E)F-3 or maybe an (E)F-4..."

The damage looks intense from what I've seen. I know that when I went to bed last night, around 1am CT, that the storms didn't look too bad -- I was monitoring because I have a friend in Citrus County, where it looks like the first touchdown was -- soon after the storms crossed onto the peninsula, they rapidly intensified.

If I had to make a prediction based on the arial footage I saw, based on the EF-Scale, I'd say probably EF-3 or (maybe) EF-4 in some places.

Something else I've noticed is that Florida is no stranger to severe weather, but their main interaction seems to be with hurricanes. When you listen to them talking about supercells and tornadoes, they seem a little unsure of themselves.
 
What a time to implement the EF scale - the first major event for the new rating system happens less than a day after it went into effect. I will be very interested to see the new assessment and rating process in action.
 
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