The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the Sarasota region until 8 p.m. today.
High winds and heavy rain are likely throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.
Thunderstorms were expected to affect DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Highlands, Pinellas, Sarasota, and parts of Polk, Charlotte and Lee counties.
The watch was issued at 12:15 a.m.
Tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorm wind gusts up to 70 mph are possible in the area during the storm watch.