The rainy season is back in Florida — and with it, the return of strong afternoon thunderstorms. On Wednesday, storms brought hail to St. Petersburg and other parts of Pinellas County.
Tampa Bay Times staffers took videos of hail falling in the city. They also reported seeing standing water on the side of Interstate 275 near Exit 22 in downtown St. Petersburg.
National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Hurt said the storm in St. Petersburg around 4:30 p.m. was the most severe the area has seen in the last few weeks. He said the Weather Service received reports of hail up to 3/4 of an inch in diameter — about the size of a dime — and wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. The storm was moving over Tampa Bay just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Hurt said.
At 4:55 p.m. the Weather Service tweeted notice of a severe thunderstorm warning for “central Pinellas County” until 5:30 p.m. A storm system was stationary over the Pinellas Park area, according to the warning, and has 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail.
Times partner Spectrum Bay News 9 tweeted radar images of storms moving across Pinellas County, with several lightning strikes confirmed.