Tornado slams into Florida panhandle apartment block leaving trail of destruction


This is the terrifying moment a huge tornado slammed into homes in Florida.

Concerned residents watched at the twister started as a waterspout tornado forming several miles offshore from Panama City Beach in the  Gulf of Mexico panhandle on April 10.

In under a minute the spinning vortex had whipped across the ocean and crashed into an apartment block leaving a trail of destruction. Once a tornadic waterspout touched land it is classed as a tornado.

Sunbeds, fences and an ice cream stand outside the building were blown over by the waterspout, which was followed by strong winds across the region.

Onlooker Ankur Singh said: ‘It was a huge adrenaline rush watching it come through the ocean towards the shore and at the same time, it was very scary.’

Other residents said the weather phenomenon looked more like an actual tornado than other smaller waterspouts seen along the panhandle coastline.

Panama City Beach Government said the waterspout tornado was followed by strong winds.

They said in a statement: ‘High winds took the roof off Blu Convenience Store at Front Beach and Wells Street this morning around 8:30. Damage to a house on Wells.’

This twister that hit Panama City Beach is a tornadic waterspout – which stretches from the clouds down into the sea. They develop from a supercell thunderstorm and move onto land. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.

The other type of waterspout is a ‘fair weather waterspout’. They form when winds merge from opposite directions near the water’s surface, creating a small area of spin. Sudden warm air at the surface causes the spinning air to rotate faster and it starts to rise – picking up water at the same time.