Well, I was going to talk about that great Cardinals-Packers playoff game (one of the best I have ever seen), but events have taken place locally that will changes those plans at least this day.
We had some bad weather in our neck of the woods last night. I’m very blessed to reveal that Pinellas County got through an overnight squall line unscathed, but sadly, others weren’t as lucky.
I noticed yesterday the meteorologists talking about a strong line of storms passing through the Tampa Bay area, and that it would take place overnight. Sure enough, right around 2:00 to 3:00am and a bit later, we got some thunder, rain, and high wind, something we go through every day in the summertime, with the odd big storm every now and then.
Looking at my IPhone, I saw that the meteorologist for the ABC station here in Tampa, Denis Phillips, had gone on the air with fellow meteorologist Bill Logan and was streaming on Facebook as he often does. Looking at his stream, I realized he was on the air covering the squall line, as were all the other stations in the area, in the middle of the night on a Saturday night and/or Sunday morning.
Everyone had their eye on a tornado that had touched down in Sarasota, with the local meteorologists speculating (at the time) that it was an EF-2 twister with winds around 135 miles per hour in it, a very rare thing for a tornado in Florida to be so strong. The tornado held together for several miles (something else very rare here), heading northeastward toward the portion of Manatee County east of Interstate 75.
The tornado held together long enough to touch down in the town of Duette, hitting and demolishing a mobile home there. According to local reports, a grandfather in his 50’s was killed during the impact inside the home. His wife survived initially, but died in an ambulance of a subsequent heart attack.
Just as quickly as the storms came and did their damage, they went away, leaving behind a very windy and cooler day today for the area to clean up. If not for the valiant efforts of the National Weather Service and the meteorologists of the commercial stations in this area who would not sleep on this storm, the results may have been much worse then they were.