National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Storm of the Century in East Central Florida
March 12-13, 1993

KMLB Reflectivity Loop - Super Storm

 KMLB 0.5 degree Reflectivity Loop 1103 PM EST, March 12, 2993 to 112 AM EST, March 13, 1993.  Squall line approaches East Central Florida.

 NWS Service Assessment     |     Storm Prediction Center Analysis


  Some East Central Florida Severe Weather Reports

1230 AM EST - Lake County, Mt. Dora - Tornado - A small fast-moving tornado touched down near Howey-in-the-Hills and moved northeast striking Mt. Dora and continued northeast until dissipating in Volusia County. A 5-month old baby boy was killed in a mobile home 10 miles northeast of Mt. Dora at 0050 EST. The mobile home was destroyed and two adults in it were seriously injured. In all 13 homes were destroyed, 80 suffered major damage and 266 reported minor damage.

110 AM EST - Orange County, Disney World - Thunderstorm Winds - A solid line of thunderstorms moved across the county producing wind gusts to 71 mph. Trees and powerlines were blown down.

120 AM EST - Seminole County, Sanford - Strong Thunderstorm winds knocked down trees and power lines and blew in windows.

122 AM EST - Volusia County, Daytona Beach Airport - Thunderstorm Winds - A wind gust to 63 mph was recorded at the airport.

420 AM EST - Indian River County, Vero Beach - Thunderstorm Winds - Downburst winds from a severe thunderstorm produced widepsread damage in Vero Beach and Gifford. Eight homes in Vero Beach had major damage mainly from falling trees. Three commercial buildings were damaged, with trees and power lines down. Winds gusted to 83 mph at Vero Beach at 427 AM EST.

621 AM EST - Volusia County, Daytona Beach Airport - Thunderstorm Winds - A wind gust to 66 mph was recorded. 


Storm Data Summary:

The "Storm Of The Century" or "SuperStorm" roared across Florida producing a variety of severe and unusual weather conditions for about 18 hours from late Friday the 12th through late afternoon Saturday the 13th. A severe squall line raced eastward at over 50 mph ahead of an intense low producing several tornadoes and strong downbursts as it moved through the state and directly caused seven fatalities. This was followed by an unprecedented (for the Gulf Coast) winter storm surge of nine to 12 feet in Taylor County, with storm surges and/or tidal and wind driven flooding of five to 9 feet elsewhere along the Gulf Coast to the Keys. This was followed by a period of eight to 12 hours of high sustained winds of up to 50 mph with gusts to 70 mph, keeping tides much above normal along the west coast and causing severe beach erosion in many areas. As colder air poured in behind the intense low up to four inches of snow fell in the panhandle from north of Pensacola to Crestview, and a trace to 3 inches of snow fell elsewhere across north Florida. Record or near record low temperatures occurred over much of the state the following two nights. Total number of fatalities from the storm was 47, including 14 from storm surge and flooding, seven from tornadoes and/or strong downbursts, and four from high winds in the aftermath of the squall line. Eleven people drowned offshore in the Gulf of Mexico after strong winds swamped or capsized ships (including seven crewmen from a 200-ft Honduran freighter). Eleven others died during rescue operations and cleanup activities. Total property damage was estimated at $l.6 billion.