Northwest Florida residents endured a kaleidoscope of weather Wednesday as strong storms moved through the area.A water spout that turned into a tornado zipped across portions of two counties about noon, leaving no reported damage, while winds related to a waterspout downed trees and damaged buildings in Mary Esther an hour earlier.
“This wasn’t one of those thin, ethereal-looking things you see in the summertime,” Mark Wool, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee Office, said of the actual tornado. “This looked pretty big, and its radar signature indicated it had a tight, strong circulation.”
The storm that spawned the tornado originated over the Gulf of Mexico, where meteorologists had been tracking it for about 45 minutes. It formed over the southeastern portion of Okaloosa County before it moved into Choctawhatchee Bay in Walton County.
The path of the “tornadic waterspout,” as Wool described it, was recorded by numerous residents, many of whom shared photos and videos on social media.