The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed a 100-yard-wide, EF-0 tornado with 75 to 80 mph winds, tracked 0.85 miles into downtown Tampa after forming into a waterspout between Harbour Island and Davis Island around 11:12 a.m. EST Tuesday.
"The waterspout moved onshore as a tornado along the northern shore of Harbor Island near the Westin Hotel and proceeded down the channel between the Tampa Bay Times Forum (arena) and Harbour Island," the NWS said.
"The tornado continued through the channel-side area before lifting just east of the Florida aquarium," the NWS added.
Businesses in Channelside reported broken windows, a downed light pole and damage to outdoor furniture. Five vehicles were also damaged in the parking lot of the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena, and a couch even wound up atop a highway sign by the Crosstown Expressway, according to Tampa's FOX 13-TV.
No injuries were reported, the city spokesperson said.
While a tornado watch was in effect for Tampa, the NWS only issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the rotating storm, before it produced a brief tornado.
The line of storms also produced damage north of Tampa in Levy County, where hurricane-force wind gusts up to 91 mph were recorded in Cedar Key, the NWS said.
The storms were part of a much larger storm system sweeping across the country, that produced a significant hail storm in the New Orleans area Sunday night and the historic blizzard across the Texas Panhandle on Monday.