NWS: 3 tornadoes ravaged Florida overnight in Clearwater, Crystal River, Palm Coast

At least three EF-2 tornadoes touched down in Florida overnight and into the early morning hours on Thursday, toppling trees, power lines, damaging homes, and flipping at least one vehicle on its side, according to preliminary data from the National Weather Service.

All three have been rated EF-2 tornadoes, which means their max wind gusts were estimated between 111-135 mph, strong enough to cause significant damage, the NWS said.

Tornadoes touched down in Palm Coast, Clearwater/Dunedin, and Crystal River. A fourth possible tornado is being investigated after damage reported in Sarasota.


The NWS Jacksonville Office said the Palm Coast tornado touched down at 4:50 a.m. in Flagler County and traveled nearly a mile in six minutes, before dissipating. Its path is estimated to be 200 yards wide, and its maximum winds were estimated to be 115 mph at its peak, according to the NWS.

Near Tampa, a tornado touched down in Clearwater as an EF-1, and traveled to Dunedin as a stronger EF-2 tornado, the NWS said. The NWS said it started as a tornadic waterspout that made it to land, becoming a tornado.

It traveled across the Dunedin Channel before coming ashore near Dunedin, near Dunedin Causeway and Highway 19 in eight minutes – 1:47 a.m. to 1:55 a.m.

Further north in Crystal River, likely tornadic waterspout touched down around 2 a.m., came ashore, and made its away towards the Paradise Point Community. It traveled across U.S. 19 and Florida Highway 44, before ending northeast of Crystal City.