Lakeland, Polk County, Florida Tornado Warning Issues Thursday Morning

A strong thunderstorm in Polk County, Florida, Thursday morning prompted a tornado warning until 9:15 a.m. EST.

The National Weather Service in Tampa issued the warning at 8:43 a.m. for central Polk County. The thunderstorm in the area was capable of producing a tornado and was about 10 miles north of Wauchula moving at about 40 miles per hour heading northeast, according to the warning.

"Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely," said the NWS warning.

There were tornado watches issued across much of the central portion of the state as well and subsequent tornado warnings were issued following the first one in Polk County.

Counties included in the watch were Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia, according to the NWS watch.

At 9:25 a.m. warnings were issued for Southwestern Hardeen County, east-central Manatee County and Northwestern DeSoto County. The warnings there were initially issued to last until 11 a.m. EST.

The storm was expected to reach Ona near 9:50 a.m. and Wauchula about 10 minutes later at 10 a.m.

Those in the area where there was a warning were advised to move to an interior room of the first floor of whatever building they were in and to avoid windows. Anyone outside or in a car or mobile home was advised to move to a structurally sound building that could withstand debris, according to the NWS. Those where there was a watch or warning in effect should check their NWS statements and follow the direction of any authorities regarding the watches and warnings.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Viewed from the window of a tornado scout vehicle, a super-cell thunderstorm develops, May 10, 2017, in Olustee, Oklahoma. Drew Angerer/Getty Images