Downtown Miami

Storm sends patio furniture flying off condo balconies

A YouTube video shows patio furniture flying off condo balconies.
A YouTube video shows patio furniture flying off condo balconies.

Thanks to a thunderstorm on Saturday, Biscayne Boulevard was filled with cars — and patio furniture.

In two videos filmed by onlookers, several pieces of furniture fall hundreds of feet from condo balconies onto the highway, barely missing cars on the road.

The videos, posted on YouTube, have been viewed nearly a total of nearly 145,000 times. The onlookers can be heard laughing at the sight.

But it’s not unusual for a strong and severe thunderstorm to push patio furniture from condo balconies, said Kevin Scharfenberg, a science officer for the National Weather Service in Miami.

“It doesn’t happen every day, but it happens every so often,” he said.

The last reported incident of airborne furniture was in March 2015, Scharfenberg said, when a Miami Beach maintenance worker was hit by a glass tabletop blown from the ninth floor of a building. He later died from his injuries at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Scharfenberg said the videos serve as a reminder that the winds are a lot stronger the higher a person is on the condo buildings. He estimated the wind in the YouTube video was about 65-70 mph.

“It’s something we don’t often think about,” Scharfenberg said, adding that people should make sure their furniture is secured.

However, having watched the video, Scharfenberg said he was impressed by the strength of the winds in the video.

“It was certainly pretty astounding to see because one or two of those lounge chairs got thrown, and they went all the way across the street,” he said. “It shows how dangerous it can be.”

While any really strong thunderstorm is capable of pushing patio furniture, Scharfenberg said it’s unlikely a thunderstorm of that magnitude will hit South Florida this week. A cold front pushing through from Lake Okeechobee has drastically lowered chances of thunderstorms and high for the next few days.

By Wednesday, normal summer weather will return with a 40 percent chance of showers and temperatures in the high-80s.

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