Thunderstorms Making Repeat Appearance in Westchase Today
Their strength might not mirror yesterday’s storms.
With power outages and downed trees part of the morning landscape throughout the Tampa Bay area today, the last thing most residents want to hear is that more storms are in the forecast.
Unfortunately, that’s the case.
However, forecasters don't think the storms will have the same punch as Tuesday and some are already firing up around Ft. Myers, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ernie Jilison. Those will work their way into the Tampa Bay area this afternoon, possibly quicker than on Tuesday.
“I do think we’ll see plenty of showers this afternoon and some of them could be strong,” Jillson said. “(There’s) a pretty good batch of moisture coming up from South Florida. (We’ll get) an earlier start today.”
Some of today's storms have the potential for a repeat of Tuesday when thunderstorms knocked out traffic lights throughout Tampa, felled trees in neighborhoods such as Seminole Heights and drenched the rush-hour commute for some motorists.
There were no reports of serious damage from Tuesday’s storms, but about 1,200 Tampa Electric Co. customers were without power this morning with a cluster around Temple Terrace and also along Interstate 275, according to TECO’s outage map.
There is a large concentration of outages in the Seminole Heights area right now with more than 500 customers without power. Progress Energy also has a few reported outages, mainly concentrated in Pinellas County, but numbers are much lower there.
“The potential for damage is the same as yesterday,” said Tyler Fleming, National Weather Service meteorologist. The storms will probably cover the entire Tampa Bay area, he said.
The same weather conditions exist today and did Tuesday when what meteorologists call a disturbance in the atmosphere juiced up the storms from the normal afternoon variety to the kind that snapped trees and spawned waterspouts.
Damage reports to the weather service tracked yesterday's storms from Manatee County, through Hillsborough and Pasco, then into Hernando with pea-size hail seen in Palmetto just before 4 p.m.:
4 p.m. to 5 p .m. Power poles down around Faulkenberg Road and State Road 60 and golf ball size hail in Town & Country.
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Waterspout northeast of Safety Harbor
8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Trees down on Old Pasco Road two miles northwest of Wesley Chapel and trees knocked down around Spring Lake in Hernando County
The weather service puts rain chances for today at 60 percent through tonight with the best likelihood for thunderstorms after 2 p.m.
For a complete look at Westchase weather, visit the National Weather Service online.
Stay with Patch for updates about the weather as they become available.
How did your neighborhood fare yesterday’s storms? Let us know in the comments section.