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2 Tornadoes Touched Down Christmas Eve In Jacksonville, NWS Confirms

The National Weather Service released this map of the Baymeadows tornado's path.

If you live in the Hampton Glen subdivision on Jacksonville’s Southside and you thought the thunderstorm that tore through Jacksonville on Christmas Eve seemed especially intense, you were right.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday confirmed an EF1 tornado touched down in the subdivision southeast of the Baymeadows Road-Southside Boulevard intersection just before 7 p.m. on Dec. 24, as part of the severe thunderstorms that crossed the area from the west.

The twister lasted about five minutes and had max winds of 105 miles an hour, which, according to the NWS, damaged trees but did not injure anyone.

The tornado had a maximum width of 100 yards, the size of a football field, and traveled just over half a mile, starting just west of Heather Run Drive, eventually crossing Baymeadows Road and reaching just inside the Deerwood subdivision, before it dissipated.

In addition to the tornado that touched down in the Baymeadows area, the National Weather Service on Wednesday confirmed a second twister cut across part of Mandarin on Christmas Eve.

After surveying the damage, the weather service says the EF1 tornado touched down just south of I-295, starting on the east bank of the St. Johns River near Tacito Trail before traveling nearly a mile.

Though no injuries were reported, the tornado is blamed for downing trees including one that fell onto the roof of a home and another that fell onto a transformer, blew out the power and caught fire in the process.

The twister with max winds of 105 miles per hour touched down at around a 6:45 p.m.

An EF1 is the second-weakest kind of tornado, with winds from 65 to 110 miles an hour. The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes from EF0 to EF5.

Updated: This story was updated at 5:40 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 30, to include the confirmation of the Mandarin tornado.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP