Severe weather leaves behind damage

Hail, gusty winds and damage spread about northeast Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The blistering hot sun and crystal clear skies masks any trace of severe weather in Jacksonville on Tuesday--unless you live on the northside, Rutger Rd to be exact.

Tuesday saw the development of sea breeze storms that prompted severe weather warnings for portions of Duval and surrounding counties by the late afternoon. While most areas saw just heavy rain and frequent lightning, others saw hail up to 1 inch in diameter and trees down in their neighborhoods.

A house on Rutger Rd saw a tree fall through the roof, cutting the second story of the house nearly in half. 

According to contractor Craig Ariail with Prefer Builders, who was on site when our crew arrived, the damage inside the house is quite extensive. "My first reaction was we had a bad storm. We haven't been inside but the damage is quite extensive," Mr. Ariail said.

Also in accompaniment of the contractors was the brand new owner of the house, who did not want to be identified or go on camera.

We did learn from Prefer Builders that the house had recently been purchased last week and the new owner was just getting ready to move in. 

"Lucky for the owner, he had just made his very first insurance premium payment and it's bad news for the insurance company to have to pay out so quickly.'' 

A neighbor across the street, Yvette Fejarang was pretty shocked to see the aftermath. "I have never seen anything like this. We had a tree cut down in our yard because we were afraid the same thing would happen to us. It's pretty bad. Wow.'' 

There were at least 13 different reports of hail and wind across our area stretching form southeast Georgia down into northern Florida, including this tree.

Not to take away any due credit to mother nature, the tree that fell was nearly completely rotted at the base which allowed the tree to be compromised fairly easily. Being that there were no other trees down in the immediate area, a microburst was likely not responsible givin the isolated incident. 

The catalyst to all of this was typical afternoon thunderstorms that got a little big for their britches so-to-speak. 

Anytime you have the seabreeze moving inland into a hot atmosphere, where like on Tuesday the temperatures were into the 90s, it is always possible to get these things to bubble up and bubble up fast," weather authorities Blake Mathews said. "Not only are they difficult to forecast but they can get really strong really fast, sometimes appearing in 15 to 20 minutes out of a clear blue sky."

There is a chance of more seabreeze storms Wednesday afternoon and the rest of the week heading into Memorial Day weekend with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s. 

While it may not be summer yet, it's certainly taking on that look very quickly around these parts which means a repeat of Tuesday's weather could be possible any given afternoon.