Update: Severe storms damage homes near Starke

University of Florida biochemistry major Lamees Hegazy tries to stay dry on an overcast day on campus in Gainesville on Thursday.

Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 11:49 p.m.

(Update posted at 4:55 p.m.) The National Weather Service office in Jacksonville says there are at least four possible tornado touchdowns in north Florida.



CLICK HERE to view the National Weather Service Jacksonville Office's video briefing.

A meteorologist said there were initial reports of about dozen homes damaged near Starke, but no immediate reports of injuries.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office says it has reports of trees down, at least one person injured, and heavy rain and lightning across the region.

Meteorologists will survey damages to get more information.

- The Associated Press

Storms this evening expected to yield to pleasant weekend

By Allison Arteaga


(Original article) The clear, blue skies that hung over Gainesville the past few days will be replaced with dark storm clouds today, as a low pressure system makes its way down from the Missouri Valley.

Meteorologist Jason Deese, of the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, said the bulk of the storm will make its way through the area during the late afternoon and evening, and could bring severe thunderstorms.

For Gainesville, this means an 80 percent chance of rain, a chance of lightning strikes and strong winds. Surrounding areas also could be affected.

"With this particular system, everybody in Northeast Florida is pretty much going to be in the same boat," Deese said.

The storm system is expected to blanket the northern part of the state through the night but should begin clearing out Friday.

However, a secondary system is expected to push through Sunday evening, and will darken the skies through Monday.

Deese advised residents to keep an umbrella handy throughout the rest of the week and to stay informed about any changes in weather conditions.

"If you have a weather radio, then just make sure that it's working," he said. "And make sure you listen to your local media outlets for any breaking weather news."

Meanwhile, highs through the weekend will be mostly in the mid-70s, while lows through the weekend will remain mild. The low Friday morning is expected to dip into the mid-40s, but Saturday and Sunday's lows are forecast to fall only into the mid-50s.

Erica Brough/Staff Photographer

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