Tornado Strikes North Miami-Dade Community

October 29, 2003 - The first squall line of the cool season moved through South Florida overnight, producing heavy rains totaling almost two inches in some locations and wind gusts around 30 miles an hour. It also produced a weak tornado, F0 on the Fujita Scale, that touched down briefly in three places in extreme north Miami-Dade County around the intersection of Red Road and Honey Hill Road, just south of the Florida turnpike.

The National Weather Service forecast office in Miami conducted a storm survey of the damage this morning. Damage patterns correlated with radar signatures indicate that a small weak tornado did skip through several neighborhoods around 245 a.m. EST.


Double-wide mobile home with roof missing.

 

The tornado first caused damage to fences and shallow rooted trees in the vicinity of NW 57th Court and 200th Street around 245 a.m. shortly thereafter a double wide trailer home roof was blown off and upper branches of trees behind the trailer home were twisted off near 201st Street and NW 56th Avenue. A couple of minutes later, a patio roof blown off and a carport was destroyed near NW 54th Court and 204th Street.

The tornado was rated as F0 on the Fujita scale, which means that the wind gusts associated with the tornado were less than 73 mph. It occurred with a weather pattern meteorologists call a bow echo, which is a pattern often associated with strong straight line winds in mid latitude weather systems. Strong wind gusts were measured all across Broward and Miami-Dade with this system, but were all generally less than 35 mph. The highest recorded wind gust over land in south Florida was 33 mph at North Perry Airport in east Pembroke Pines at 302 a.m. The National Weather Service office on the FIU campus in west Miami-Dade recorded a wind gust of 30 mph at 226 a.m.

The National Weather Service issued a special marine warning at 235 a.m. until 4 a.m. for this squall line as it moved out into the coastal waters. Fowey Rocks Light recorded a wind gust to 53 knots (61 mph), shortly before 4 a.m. as the squall line moved through the south Biscayne Bay area.

Fortunately, there were no deaths nor injuries associated with either the tornado or the squall line.

 

The map below outlines areas where damage occurred. The damage seemed to be sporadic in nature. Some homes sustained major damage, while neighboring buildings remained unscathed. In addition, broken upper branches appeared to have been twisted in all three areas. The damage pattern suggests a weak tornado as opposed to straight line wind damage typical of a bow echo. Straight line wind damage is usually more uniform.
1. Fences down, minor roof damage. Several large trees uprooted. Trees appeared to have shallow root systems.

2. Double wide trailer sustained total roof damage. Twisted upper branches in nearby trees.

3. Damage to carports, patios. Debris found from other areas, probably blown across the lake.

 

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