Confirmed tornado in Ocala Sunday evening

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -Maximum winds of 110 mph were estimated by the National Weather Service as the tornado passed through Ocala on Sunday at 7:21 PM EST along SR 40, east of I-75.

No injuries were reported, but damage was significant in some areas. Downed trees, debris scattered about, and a warehouse felt the brunt of the storm. The path of the tornado was less than three miles long and only lasted four minutes.

Related Story: CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Lightning obliterates tree outside high school in Wis.

An official tornado warning was not issued for this storm. However, a significant weather advisory was sent out by the NWS earlier that evening. The advisory warned residents of Alachua and Marion County about the risks associated with the incoming line of storms, including flash flooding and wind gusts upwards of 40 mph.

A tornado warning was not issued due to the distance between the nearest radar sites and the city of Ocala, which makes it difficult for meteorologists to see the rotation via radar.

The tornado, literally, flew under the radar and went undetected until Monday morning when storm surveyors noted the significant damage.

If residents want to help identify these dangerous storms containing tornadoes, NWS Jacksonville urges people to become an official Skywarn Storm Spotter. After taking one class residents can send in official observations to help report severe weather to the NWS office, especially in counties far away from a radar site. For more information and to sign up for a class, click HERE.

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