Severe weather in Hillsborough County has forced Florida Strawberry Festival officials to close the midway.According to the festival’s Facebook page, the midway is closed until 2 p.m. It will reopen at that time if weather conditions permit.
At the present time, all shows for this afternoon and evening are on as scheduled.
According to the Tampa Bay Times:
UPDATE, 12:35 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for Hillsborough County. Forecasters are seeing severe thunderstorms and winds of 50 mph or more, especially near Rocky Point and Tampa International Airport.A tornado warning the National Weather Service issued for Pinellas County expired shortly before 12:30 p.m. Thursday. A severe thunderstorm warning extended until 1 p.m., however.Forecasters predicted wind gusts of up to 50 mph as the storm system moved through. Emergency management officials warned residents to stay off bridges, move inside and stay away from windows. Students at Pinellas schools were moved to safe areas, as well.
Tornado warnings indicate that severe thunderstorms with tornadoes may be imminent, and can be issued after a tornado or funnel cloud is spotted by the public, storm chasers, emergency management or law enforcement — or more commonly if there are radar indications that a tornado is forming.
The National Weather Service also issued a tornado watch for 25 counties in central and southern Florida, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Manatee counties in the Tampa Bay area. The watch was scheduled to expire at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Tornado watches are issued when conditions favor the development of severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes. A watch does not mean severe weather is actually occurring, only that conditions have created a significant risk for it.