For the third time today, the National Weather Service is advising those in the affected area to take cover, this time through 5:30 p.m.
UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued a second and third tornado warning for portions of Sarasota and Manatee counties, with the latest remaining in effect through 5:30 p.m. today.
The third warning was issued at 4:58 p.m. after radar showed an offshore waterspout near Gulf Gate Estates moving north at 45 mph. In addition to Sarasota and Manatee counties, the warning extends north into Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
The warning advised those in the affected area to take shelter, ideally on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
The second warning was issued at 4:40 p.m. after a severe thunderstorm was located over St. Armands Key moving north at 60 mph. The warning, which expired at 5 p.m., covered Sarasota, Bradenton and much of the region’s barrier islands.
Previously: The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for portions of Sarasota and Manatee counties shortly before noon today, advising those in the affected area to take cover immediately.
“Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building,” the warning said. “Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.”
The warning covered segments of north central Sarasota County and northwestern Manatee County, including the city of Bradenton. The alert was issued in response to the sighting of a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near The Meadows.
The warning was in effect through 12:30 p.m.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.