Top 5 Worse Tornados that Hit Florida

Linda J | TTR Data Recovery
By Linda J

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United States is frequented by about 1,200 tornadoes per year and Florida is no stranger to that. Despite its name Sunshine state, tornadoes frequented here more than any other states with 55 tornadoes on average.

Tornadoes can go as fast as 200 miles per hour characterized primarily by violent winds that can uproot trees, snap off power lines, hurl cars, and wreck an entire house to the ground. Its paths are usually short but cover hundreds of miles. Tornadoes usually form from the ground or over a body of water (waterspouts).

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Florida tornado season

Tornado In Florida

There are no certain seasons when this phenomenon occurs. However, there are more occurrences during spring and summer periods. Tornadoes (and tropical cyclones) formed during summer, which is between the months of June to September, usually start along the boundaries with strong sea breezes.

The deadliest types usually occur during spring between the months of February to May prompted by the severe supercells formed in the cold front. Occasionally, tornadoes like these also form between fall and winter.

Long-term residents of this state can attest that the strongest types are likely to form in the afternoons or past midnight. Tornadoes with EF3 to EF5 can cause considerable damage on communication lines with little to no Internet connection. It may cause a delay in data recovery in Florida from cloud-based sites and other means of communications such as social media.

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EF4 Tornado in April 4, 1966

This is one of the longest recorded tornadoes in Florida. It covered about 135 miles in Pinellas, Brevard County, Hillsborough, Osceola, and Polk. Roughly killing 11 people with 530 injured, this registered F4 on the Fujita scale.

The estimated 3-second gust (mph) is roughly between 166-200 devastating well-constructed homes and some structures with fair foundations with some cars lifted and thrown off in some distances.

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The 2007 Groundhog Day outbreak

2007 Groundhog Day Outbreak

This is a localized but destructive occurrence that happened in Central Florida on February 2, 2007. With heightened temperatures in the morning, moisture, and a strong jet stream, this instability brought about a 70-mile supercell damage trail.

There are around 76 injured with 21 people killed during the said incident. Leaving a trail of 1,145 homes with 200 others somewhere off the Sumter County, it is a massive EF3 tornado that caused $218 million worth of damages.

The 1998 Kissimmee Tornado outbreak

Also known by locals as the ‘Night of the Tornadoes’, this is an EF3 tornado moving at 45 mph killing 42 people and injured 260 locals. It created a massive destruction in Morningside Acres, a mobile home community, and Ponderosa Recreational Vehicle Park with over 1000 homes and establishments damaged.

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The 1966 Tampa Tornado

The 1966 Tampa Tornado

One of the earliest recorded tornado occurrence happened on April 4, 1966. Killing 11 people with 530 locals injured, this tornado started in Clearwater and paved its way towards North Tampa Bay before heading to east-northeast areas such as Gibsonia, Campbell City, Merritt Island, and Loughman.

This powerful tornado caused the most havoc in Carrollwood towards Gibsonia where extensive home and establishment damages were experienced.

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