JACKSONVILLE, Fla - 1:50 p.m. update: The latest severe weather warning for northeast Florida was allowed to expire at 1:45 p.m., but thunderstorm watches remain in St. Johns, Clay, Putnam, Flager, Bradford and Alachua counties through 5 p.m.
These are the last of a series of severe weather warnings and watches issued Friday as a strong cold front passed through southeast Georgia and northeast Florida.
A tornado was spotted about 10:30 a.m. Friday over the Okefenokee Swamp dissipated, but there was no apparent damage. A radar-indicated tornado warning was issued for Putnam County about noon, but the Sheriff's Office said there was no confirmation it ever touched the ground.
Clay County Fire Rescue says there was a fire to a Doctors Inlet home caused by a lighting strike, but firefighters had it out quickly with only minor roof damage.
These storms are moving east at around 50 mph after passing through Jacksonville during the lunch hour. There were reports of heavy thundershowers and hail, but the worst of the weather passed Duval County by 1 p.m.
As always, if you see any weather related damage or see any tornadoes, please, if possible and safe, snap a picture for us and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big storms are expected Friday across parts of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia area as a cold front pushes into the region.
For this reason, the National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for most of the area until 2 p.m. While this does not include coastal counties (Duval) at this time, we may see the watch expanded to include Jacksonville later in the day as the storms push further east.
Severe storms raked across the Midwest late Thursday and will be fading as they reach Jacksonville around the lunch hour. Tornadoes, high winds and heavy rains hit from Illinois to Louisiana. They began to fade just after midnight, but we should be on the alert later today for a round of heavy rains, gusty winds.
Don't be fooled: Overcast, light, gentle, southerly winds and warm temperatures this morning may get you to let your guard down to the wilder lunchtime weather.
The fireworks should begin west of Jacksonville before 10 a.m. and through Jacksonville around lunch and reach St. Augustine by 3 p.m.
Biggest threat is for intense downpours with winds to 40 mph. Some folks may see more than an inch of rain. Other threats include a few severe storms that could spin up a small tornado or two, but the chances are small.
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