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Winter makes way to the Suncoast after early morning tornadoes

ABC7 News - Weekends at 6:30pm
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 7:10 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It was a very busy day across the Suncoast and all of Southwest Florida, as well as a historic day for the region with 21 tornado warnings over five hours and six counties.

The early morning storms lead to multiple waterspouts and tornadoes, especially to the south. The National Weather Service in Tampa Bay has confirmed two tornadoes, the strongest of which was in Iona near downtown Fort Myers. The EF-2 tornado, with winds of 118 mph, was on the ground for five minutes across 1.8 miles. This tornado damaged over 100 mobile homes across three communities. No fatalities were reported; three people were injured.

Meanwhile to the north in Charlotte County, a waterspout over Gasparilla made way onto land becoming an EF-1 tornado with winds of 110 mph. The tornado was on the ground for five minutes over 1.3 miles. The tornado damaged 35 homes along with boats and the marina storage.

The front has pushed well to the southwest. Now the winds and cool air settle in. Winds will lead to hazardous seas for Monday before letting up on Tuesday. Small craft advisories, high surf, and rip current statements are all in place through Monday.

The temperature will only climb to the mid-60s the next two days with overnight lows in the mid to lower 40′s, have a jacket ready. We slightly warm up midweek before more cool air moves in next weekend.

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