Tornado rips through Pinellas County

Cooler weather to move in Thursday

First Alert Weather WWSB 6PM Wednesday 12/16/2020

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A strong storm system brought tornadoes to Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk Counties Wednesday afternoon while we got lucky and missed the brunt of the rough stuff in our local area. We still saw some rain and gusty winds but nothing like the storm that blew through Pinellas Park just north of St. Petersburg. A storm which was showing rotation early Wednesday morning 50 miles in the Gulf soon fired up just before 4 p.m. and spawned a twister snapping trees and causing damage in several areas just north of St. Petersburg.

Twister does considerable damage just north of St. Petersburg
Twister does considerable damage just north of St. Petersburg (Source: Nick Carper)

By the looks from the damage I would estimate that it was a EF0 storm with 70-85 mph winds.

The actual cold front will move through during early Thursday morning switching our winds around to the NW and picking up in intensity. Highs on Thursday will be about 5-7 degrees below average with the thermometer topping out in the mid to upper 60′s. Skies will start off cloudy with some clearing by the noon hour. Winds will be out of the NW at 15-20 mph.

Clouds in the morning then clearing later in the day
Clouds in the morning then clearing later in the day (Source: WWSB)

The coldest morning will be Friday as temperatures dip into the mid 40′s to start the day under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will only warm into the mid 60′s by the afternoon. Winds will stay out of the NNE through the day.

Skies will be clear Friday night but it will be chilly with temperatures falling into the mid 50′s by 8 p.m. The low on Saturday just after sunrise will be in the upper 40′s and there should be plenty of sunshine through the day. Winds will begin to shift to the east later in the day warming things up into the low 70s by noon.

Sunday looks nice with partly cloudy skies and lows in the mid 50′s so not as cold and only a 20% chance for a late day shower.

The next front is expected to move in on Monday morning bringing clouds and a good chance for mainly showers with no severe weather expected.

Things look good through Wednesday with mostly sunny skies and highs in the low to mid 70′s Tuesday and Wednesday.

For boaters on Thursday expect winds out of the NW at 15 knots and seas running 2-4 feet with a moderate chop on the bays and inland waters.

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