|The roof of this condo was blown off by a tornado in|
Siesta Key, Florida overnight
A storm system packing tornadoes and high winds ripped across central and southern Florida overnight late Saturday and early Sunday, and unfortunately, reports of death, damage and extensive damage are coming in.
Televison station WFLA said early this morning that two grandparent died and their four grandchildren were injured when a tornado destroyed their mobile home in Duette, Florida, not far from Sarasota.
The area around Sarasota and Siesta Key appear to have been particularly hard hit. Television station WTSP reports numerous injuries and rescues from people trapped in wrecked homes.
WFLA says a roof of an apartment complex was blown off in Siesta Key, and numerous homes were damaged.
Winds gusted to as high as 84 mph in Naples, Florida overnight.
Nighttime tornadoes like those that just occured in Florida are especially dangerous because people are often asleep and don't hear warnings to take cover in closets, bathrooms and basements when a tornado is approaching.
|Tornado damage in Siesta Key, Florida this morning.|
Image from WTSP-TV
The rough Florida weather was not unexpected.
As early as last summer, with a record strong El Nino building, Floridians were told that they were especially at risk for tornadoes, severe storms and heavy rains this winter.
Miami had its wettest December on record, and the city is having an extraordinarily wet January so far.
El Nino tends to encourage particularly energetic winter time storms across the Deep South, and Florida was in the path of these storms. So was Texas, when it had those deadly tornadoes in late December.
The good news is the tornadic storms were moving off the coast of Florida Sunday morning, and no severe weather is forecast there for at least the next several days.