Energetic storms hit the Tampa Bay area on Wednesday evening, knocking out several thousand customers.
Thousands of lightning strikes hit areas from Levy County to Ft. Myers.
A strong thunderstorm over Levy County became violent on Thursday evening at around 4:00 PM with strong gusts of wind and small hail. Soon after, strong storms began to develop in Hernando County with frequent lightning strikes from cloud to ground. The provincial storm in Hernando barely moved and at 5:30 pm lightning was violent with nearly a hundred strikes every 10 minutes. The rain was heavy with nearly ten inches of rain in eastern Hernando County at 6:00 PM.
A new storm began to hit Polk County with heavy rain and lightning. Multiple reports of a funnel cloud poured into the weather office. While the images were ominous, a tornado didn’t hit. In fact, funnel clouds are a common occurrence for Florida this time of year.
Strong storms swept the stream to more than 4,000 customers in Polk County for a short time.
Western Hillsborough County and Pinellas County were unaffected by strong storms. The atmosphere around the area was simply pervasive; until storms erupt around 8:30 PM. In fact, the storm over West Hillsborough County became so violent that a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for a damaging wind threat.
Storms spread west to Pinellas County with excessive lightning. This caused a few temporary disruptions in the province until 10 p.m.
Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, and we are now at the time of year when lightning frequency approaches its peak on the west coast of Florida, which usually occurs in late July to early August.