Surprise tornadoes strike Florida as severe weather threat lingers Tuesday

A couple of brief tornadoes and isolated damaging winds are possible into the afternoon Tuesday over parts of the Florida Peninsula.

PALM CITY, Fla. – One day after two tornadoes struck in Florida, the threat of more tornadoes is likely Tuesday.

Severe weather hit St. Lucie and Martin counties on Monday, resulting in Tornado Warnings being issued for both counties. At one point, thousands of residents were left without power in the two counties, and there were also reports of downed trees in Palm City.

"Not just one, but two of the supercells spawned in this line of storms that kind of tracked across Central Florida," FOX Weather Meteorologist Jane Minar said.

Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes, with the first touching down near Interstate 95 and the second reported 30 minutes later near Interstate 895. 

"Just incredible images for a part of Florida that … there wasn't much of an outlook for this. This kind of caught a lot of people by surprise," Minar added. 

Fortunately, only minor damage has been reported so far.

On the opposite side of the Florida Peninsula, thunderstorms caused flooding on the streets and stalled cars due to inches of rain falling over a short period in the Cape Coral area.

The FOX Forecast Center said isolated to scattered thunderstorms are ongoing Tuesday. A cold front will push southeastward through the day, and isolated thunderstorms will be possible along the front into the afternoon. 

"Florida did see a hefty punch from these storms (Monday), and we've got another shot at it today (Tuesday), so don't let your guard down," Minar said.

Several supercells are expected to develop, tending to focus across the northern part of Central Florida during the morning and the southern part in the afternoon. 

Cities under a Level 1 out of 5 on the severe storm threat scale are Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Cape Coral and Clearwater.

A look at the severe weather threat for Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.
(FOX Weather)


A few brief tornadoes are expected. Otherwise, isolated strong wind gusts will be possible in the strongest storms before the action wanes toward early evening.