F-1 Tornado at Palm Bay

Several long track supercell thunderstorms moved eastward across central Florida during the afternoon of February 27, 2005. At least one storm produced a damaging (F1) tornado that moved through a residential area of NW Palm Bay at approximately 345-350 pm. 
 
The potential for strong to severe thunderstorms was well advertised in advance as an unseasonably strong jet stream maxima was advertised to move through the Gulf of Mexico during the weekend.  Rapid low pressure development over the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico was forecast with the possibility of strong to severe storms over the peninsula all day on February 27th. 

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK outlooked peninsular Florida with a slight risk of severe storms with their day 2 outlook early on Saturday February 26.  A significant increase in winds through the atmosphere was expected during the afternoon of the February 27 as the upper level wind maxima pulled just to the north of the NWS Melbourne forecast area. By midday with a tornado watch in place, SPC and local assessment showed an increasing likelihood of supercell thunderstorms along with wind damage potential over east central Florida.

 

map of area
Map of damage area, track depicted in yellow.

Local radar imagery, and damage photos.

RADAR LOOP
Radar Reflectivity Loop
3:16 PM - 3:56 PM
(click for larger image)

Radar Reflectivity
3:51 PM
(click for larger image)

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.