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Strong storms spawn a tornado in Pinellas County ahead of a cold front

St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue
St. Petersburg officials received received multiple calls around 12:10 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2022, for trees down on houses along 9th Ave. N. between 58th St. N. and 49th St. N.

The National Weather Service confirms the EF-1 tornado touched down around noon near Pasadena ahead of a cold front that will drop temperatures Friday and into the weekend.

Powerful storms that moved through the greater Tampa Bay region on Thursday ahead of a cold front spawned a tornado in southern Pinellas County.

The National Weather Service office in Ruskin confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down near Pasadena at about noon.

The storm had maximum winds of about 100 mph, and was on the ground for about a quarter mile.

In a news release St. Petersburg fire officials say they received multiple calls for trees down around 12:10 p.m. along 9th Ave. N., between 58th St. N. and 49th St. N.

Photos and video supplied by St. Petersburg Fire Rescue show large trees uprooted — including one that fell onto a preschool building attached to St. Vincent's Episcopal Church.

No injuries were reported.

Officials also reported road closures in Tampa due to flooding, and damage to a convenience store in Spring Hill.

The storms are giving way to much cooler temperatures on Friday and into the weekend, forecasters said, with highs on Friday only in the mid-60s to mid-70s.

The next chance for rain comes late Saturday as another cold front pushes across the state, with clearing by Sunday afternoon and highs 10-15 degrees below normal.

Highs on Sunday are only expected to top out in the 50s and 60s, with overnight lows Sunday dipping into the upper 30s in northern parts of the region and the lower 50s to the south.

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