TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two EF-2 tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down in the Tampa Bay area early Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
“No doubt in question there were tornadoes that impacted the Tampa Bay area last night, anywhere between 12:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. all the way on up the coast into the Crystal River area,” said Brian LaMarre, Meteorologist in Charge with the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service said the first tornado was an EF-2 that stretched from the Clearwater area to Dunedin. The tornado traveled 4.96 miles and was 300 yards wide.
A second tornado was on the ground between 2:08 p.m. and 2:19 a.m. in the Crystal River area, according to the National Weather Service. The path was 5.59 miles long and was 300 yards wide.
No injuries or deaths have been reported from either of the tornadoes, and all information is preliminary and subject to change.
The National Weather Service added that it’s possible additional tornadoes are confirmed.
“It was very fortunate that the people that were impacted by the tornado had no injuries,” LaMarre said.
Max Defender 8 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli said there have been approximately 75 EF-2 tornadoes in the WFLA viewing area since 1950, for an average of about one per year.
Berardelli said there were 38 tornado warnings issued across the state between Wednesday and Thursday.
The National Weather Service said due to the El Nino pattern that will continue throughout the winter months, there will be more situations like the one that played out overnight Wednesday into Thursday.
“It’s usually always during those overnight hours,” he said. “That’s like the prime time that we see the tornadoes in this area.”
The National Weather Service urged people to have multiple ways to receive warnings, especially since these types of storms generally happen while people are asleep.