How experts determined EF-0 tornado struck Lake Nona community

Updated:

Loading

ORLANDO, Fla. - It was a rough weekend in central Florida with severe weather uprooting trees and damaging homes.

The worst damage was just east of Lake Nona, where an EF-0 tornado struck over the weekend.

Channel 9 meteorologist George Waldenberger went out to the hardest hit areas on Monday to show how experts were able to determine a tornado was to blame.

Two days after the tornado struck, Isle of Pines is cleaning up damage, but that damage can be used to determine whether tornadoes or straight line winds hit.

In Saturday's case, it was indeed a tornado that touched down.

"We could just see our pine trees just crazy blowing around," said resident Danielle Steele.

The tornado hit just after 2 p.m.   The radar showed a bow-shaped echo that was bringing straight line winds, Waldenberger said. The northern edge wrapped up in what's called a bookend vortex, which also produced the tornado.

The tornado developed over Lake Mary Jane southeast of Orlando International Airport, damaging a nearly 3-mile-long path that was surrounded on either side by straight line wind damage.

The tornado tracked east to west in the Isle of Pines community with the strongest winds just above ground level, where winds nearly 90 mph snapped trees at midlevel, Waldenberger said.

All along the path of the tornado there was further evidence of stronger winds above ground level. About a half kilometer on either side of the path, damage was different with smaller trees at lower levels, indicating straight line winds to 60mph, according to Waldenberger.

Straight line winds and tornadoes can be equally destructive, but it depends on where they strike, Waldenberger said.