Rockledge Waterspout-Tornado
August 6, 2003


Photo courtesy of Marcello Maceroni


Photo courtesy of Marcello Maceroni

Event Discussion

The east coast sea breeze pushed just inland during the early afternoon of 8/6/2003.  Meanwhile, isolated showers and lightning storms formed across eastern parts of Orange and Osceola counties.  This activity pushed an outflow boundary back towards the coast which collided with the sea breeze.  By about 130 pm, an isolated strong storm formed over northern portions of Cape Canaveral due to this boundary collision and pushed slowly east, then gradually diminished. 

A second storm fired up further south a short time later and drifted south along the sea breeze boundary.  Because of the rapid development and intensification of this storm, a Special Marine Warning was issued at 205 pm for the Brevard county coast.  A short time later, numerous reports of a funnel cloud, or tornado, or waterspout occurring in the Rockledge area were received at the Melbourne office.  Radar imagery showed that the storm producing the apparent tornado was over the Indian River and moving south, but due to the close proximity to land areas, a tornado warning was issued at 230 pm.  The storm weakened by 245 pm and the Tornado Warning was cancelled before 3 pm.

Though this waterspout/tornado was visually impressive, a NWS Survey Team could find no evidence of significant damage, but potted trees and an unattached trellis were knocked over at Rockledge Gardens nursery, on US1.  Employees of Rockledge Gardens witnessed the weak tornado as it passed overhead at about 230 pm.

Products Issued:

FLUS42 KMLB 061450
HWOMLB
AMZ550-555-570-575-FLZ041-044>047-053-054-058-059-064-141-144-147-
062000-

EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
1045 AM EDT WED AUG 6 2003

.DAY ONE...TODAY...

...STRONG TO SEVERE LIGHTNING STORMS EXPECTED ONCE AGAIN TODAY...

DAYTIME HEATING...ABUNDANT MOISTURE...AND A LATE DAY COLLISION OF THE
COASTAL SEA BREEZES WILL LEAD TO SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS LIGHTNING
STORMS ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA FROM MID AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY
EVENING. VERY HEAVY RAINFALL UP TO AROUND TWO INCHES AND STRONG WIND
GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 40 MPH MAY ACCOMPANY SOME OF THESE STORMS. A FEW
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS OR HAIL ARE POSSIBLE.

ADDITIONALLY...ALL STORMS WILL PRODUCE DANGEROUS CLOUD TO GROUND
LIGHTNING...WHICH MAY BECOME EXCESSIVE IN STRONGER STORMS. IF YOU
HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE STORM TO BE STRUCK BY
LIGHTNING. SEEK SAFE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

THE HEAVY RAINFALL MAY LEAD TO LOCALIZED AND TEMPORARY FLOODING OF
ROADS...LOW LYING AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS THAT HAVE RECEIVED HEAVY
RAINS OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS.

FOR MARINE INTERESTS...STRONG STORMS MOVING OFFSHORE MAY PRODUCE
GUSTY WINDS...LOCALLY ROUGH SEAS...FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE CLOUD TO
WATER LIGHTNING...AND REDUCED VISIBILITY IN TORRENTIAL RAINFALL THIS
AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY...
SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS LIGHTNING STORMS WILL BE THE PRIMARY HAZARD
DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SKYWARN SPOTTERS ARE ASKED TO SELF ACTIVATE THIS AFTERNOON IF STRONG
STORMS DEVELOP...AND RELAY ANY REPORTS OF SIGNIFICANT WEATHER
INCLUDING RAINFALL AMOUNTS GREATER THAN 2 INCHES TO THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE.

FOR A GRAPHICAL VERSION OF THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK...GO TO
WWW.WEATHER.GOV AND CLICK ON EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

$$
CRISTALDI


FPUS72 KMLB 061556
NOWMLB

SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
1152 AM EDT WED AUG 6 2003

AMZ550-555-570-575-FLZ041-044>047-053-054-058-059-064-141-144-147-
061745-
BREVARD-INDIAN RIVER-LAKE-MARTIN-OKEECHOBEE-ORANGE-OSCEOLA-SEMINOLE
-ST. LUCIE-VOLUSIA-FLAGLER BEACH TO JUPITER INLET OUT TO 60 NM-

.NOW...
THROUGH 2 PM...ISOLATED SHOWERS AND LIGHTNING STORMS WILL INCREASE IN
COVERAGE AND INTENSITY ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. STORMS WILL
BEGIN TO INCREASE NEAR THE EAST COAST FROM BREVARD COUNTY SOUTHWARD
...WHILE ACTIVITY ALONG THE WEST COAST SEA BREEZE BEGINS TO SPREAD
INTO LAKE COUNTY. ISOLATED STORMS MAY ALSO DEVELOP INLAND ALONG
LAKE BREEZE BOUNDARIES.

ALL OF THE ACTIVITY WILL MOVE NORTHEAST AT 10 MPH. A FEW LIGHTNING
STORMS COULD PRODUCE BETWEEN ONE AND TWO INCHES OF RAINFALL...BRIEF
GUSTY WINDS...AND FREQUENT LIGHTNING.

$$
CRISTALDI

FPUS72 KMLB 061752
NOWMLB

SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
151 PM EDT WED AUG 6 2003

AMZ550-555-570-575-FLZ041-044>047-053-054-058-059-064-141-144-147-
061915-
COASTAL VOLUSIA-COCOA BEACH TO JUPITER INLET 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-
COCOA BEACH TO JUPITER INLET OUT TO 20 NM-
FLAGLER BEACH TO COCOA BEACH 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-
FLAGLER BEACH TO COCOA BEACH OUT TO 20 NM-INDIAN RIVER-
INLAND VOLUSIA-MARTIN-NORTHERN BREVARD-NORTHERN LAKE-OKEECHOBEE-
ORANGE-OSCEOLA-SEMINOLE-SOUTHERN BREVARD-SOUTHERN LAKE-ST. LUCIE-

.NOW...
THROUGH 330 PM...SHOWERS AND LIGHTNING STORMS WILL INCREASE IN
COVERAGE AND INTENSITY ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

STORMS WILL BEGIN TO INCREASE NEAR THE EAST COAST...ESPECIALLY
FROM BREVARD COUNTY TO VERO BEACH.  ACTIVITY WILL ALSO SPREAD
EASTWARD ACROSS THE INTERIOR.  BOUNDARY INTERACTIONS WILL LEAD TO THE
DEVELOPMENT OF ISOLATED STRONG STORMS WITH FREQUENT LIGHTNING STRIKES
AND 2 INCH DOWNPOURS.

$$
RL

WHUS52 KMLB 061806
SMWMLB
AMZ550-555-061930-

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
205 PM EDT WED AUG 6 2003

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* SPECIAL MARINE WARNING FOR THE COASTAL WATERS...

  FROM MOSQUITO LAGOON TO SEBASTIAN INLET OUT TO 20 NM.

* UNTIL 330 PM EDT

* AT 202 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED  
ISOLATED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPING NEAR CAPE
CANAVERAL...MOVING EAST AT 10 TO 15 MPH.  ADDITIONAL STORMS ARE
EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SOUTHWARD ALONG THE SEA BREEZE IN BREVARD COUNTY
AND PUSH BACK TO THE COAST.

AS THESE STORMS CROSS THE INTRACOASTAL WATERS...BARRIER ISLANDS AND
OVER THE ATLANTIC...THEY WILL PRODUCE STRONG GUSTY WINDS...ROUGH
SEAS...HEAVY DOWNPOURS AND FREQUENT DANGEROUS LIGHTNING. TRY TO
AVOID THESE STORMS IF POSSIBLE. IF YOU GET CAUGHT OFFSHORE...MAKE
SURE ALL SAFETY GEAR IS AVAILABLE AND LIFE JACKETS ARE BEING WORN BY
YOU AND YOUR CREW.

LAT...LON 2875 8087 2787 8062 2788 8020 2881 8042

$$
RL

WFUS52 KMLB 061830
TORMLB
FLC009-061900-

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
230 PM EDT WED AUG 6 2003

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
  EASTERN BREVARD COUNTY
  IN EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA

* UNTIL 300 PM EDT

* AT 226 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
  TORNADO OVER ROCKLEDGE...OR ABOUT 2 MILES EAST OF ROCKLEDGE...
  MOVING SOUTH AT 10 MPH.

* THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE...
  NEAR MERRITT ISLAND...ROCKLEDGE AT 235 PM EDT
  NEAR PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE AT 250 PM EDT
 
THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A STRONG BUILDING ON
THE LOWEST FLOOR IN AN INTERIOR ROOM AWAY FROM WINDOWS. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS
TO COVER YOUR HEAD AND BODY.

LAT...LON 2875 8087 2787 8062 2788 8020 2881 8042

$$
RL

WWUS52 KMLB 061852
SVSMLB
FLC009-061915-

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
252 PM EDT WED AUG 6 2003

...THE TORNADO WARNING FOR EASTERN BREVARD COUNTY HAS BEEN
CANCELLED...

AT 249 PM EDT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR INDICATED THAT THE
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AND TORNADO THAT PROMPTED THE WARNING HAD
WEAKENED AND NO LONGER APPEARED CAPABLE OF PRODUCING TORNADOES OR
OTHER SEVERE WEATHER...THUS THE WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

A SPECIAL MARINE WARNING CONTINUES FOR BREVARD COUNTY UNTIL 330 PM
AS RADAR INDICATED STORMS COULD PRODUCE 40 TO 50 MPH WINDS NEAR THE
COAST ALONG WITH TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS.  FREQUENT LIGHTNING STRIKES
ARE ALSO OCCURRING.

NUMEROUS REPORTS OF FUNNEL CLOUD SIGHTINGS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED ALONG
WITH MINOR DAMAGE AS A WATERSPOUT MOVED ONSHORE FROM THE INDIAN
RIVER IN THE ROCKLEDGE AND MERRITT ISLAND AREA.

STAY TUNED TO LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS OR NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR THE
LATEST SEVERE WEATHER INFORMATION.

$$
RL

Track Map:

map of rockledge area depicting storm track

Pictures:
Funnel Cloud Development
Funnel Cloud 2
Funnel cloud 3
Tornado stage
Tornado stage 2
Waterspout stage
Dissipating or "rope" stage

Photos courtesy of Marcello Maceroni
 

Satellite Imagery:

Infrared Satellite Loop

    Radar Imagery:


Velocity Loop

Reflectivity Loop


Posted August 7, 2003
BCH / DLJ


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