It was an interesting day in the world of large venue weather forecasting for WDT meteorologists. Mets worked alongside Fox Sports staff throughout the afternoon as the Daytona 500 kicked off and then became delayed shortly thereafter due to weather. Then the Tornado Warnings began…
WDT alert condition “Yellow” was sent to appropriate Fox Sports decision makers an hour before the storm impacted Daytona International Speedway; and a ”Red” alert issued 30 min before the storm hit. #NASCAR and DIS have a severe weather plans in place, of which the message displayed below throughout the venue is a portion.
Thankfully the tornado warned storm that approached the speedway ended up being a non-event rotation-wise but lightning was a true threat, as was wind and heavy rain. After a 6 hour delay, the race is currently underway as I write. There have been no official reports of tornado touchdowns.
The tornado warnings today in Florida came on the 16th anniversary of the worst tornado disaster in Florida’s recorded history. In 1998, 42 people were killed overnight by a series of tornadoes in Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties. More than half the victims were in Osceola County, where a tornado claimed 25 lives.