ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A tractor trailer on Florida’s Turnpike flipped Monday evening as a tornado crossed the roadway and damaged a building on West Angle Road, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
It was one of a number of remarkable weather events Monday evening that included three-quarter inch hail in Stuart, 8.22 inches of rain in the Nettles Island area and 2.19 inches in Fort Pierce, Tim Sedlock, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, said Tuesday.
“It’s not your average day, that’s for sure,” Sedlock said. “Everything came together just right, and some areas got a lot of rain and some hail and even an isolated tornado. So it can happen, but it’s not your average day.”
He said an EF-0 — the lowest strength — tornado touched down in north central St. Lucie County about 7 miles west-southwest of Lakewood Park in a field north of the turnpike and west of Interstate 95. Peak winds with the tornado were estimated between 65 and 70 mph.
He said it traveled slowly to the southeast, crossing the Turnpike around mile marker 161, which is about 9 miles north of Okeechobee Road, about 6:14 p.m.
“One tractor trailer traveling on the turnpike was flipped over” by the tornado or strong winds associated with it, Sedlock said.
The tornado continued southeast where it damaged the roof of a building along the 14500 block of West Angle Road, he said. It later dissipated.
He said there were no reports of a second tornado.
Sedlock said the wet season has “pretty much” arrived, and it was warm and humid.
“Sea breezes on both ends of the coast were pretty active,” he said. “We also had a little help from some energy aloft, as well, that was crossing the area so that kind of helped enhance activity during the afternoon, early evening.”
About 8:10 p.m. Monday, the NWS received a report of three-quarter inch hail in Stuart.
“I’m sure there were others but we just haven’t received those reports,” Sedlock said.
Rain also was intense in the area of downtown Stuart.
Sedlock noted heavy rain near the coast area along the St. Lucie and Martin county border.
“There’s some 5-inch reports,” Sedlock said.
Over the next couple of days, he said there could still be some strong storms, but more inland.
“We’re in the wet season now,” Sedlock said. “So basically your scattered afternoon and evening storms is kind of the norm.”
Will Greenlee is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Will on Twitter @OffTheBeatTweet or reach him by phone at 772-267-7926. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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