CLEARWATER — The weather gods are giving Clearwater Jazz Holiday a mixed blessing.
On the negative side, the music festival's first two days are being threatened by showers and thunderstorms that might sweep through the area today and Friday.
On the positive side, this weekend should be absolutely gorgeous, with clear skies and notably cooler temperatures compared with the brutally hot and humid October that we've been suffering through until now.
"Of course we want it to be beautiful," said Jazz Holiday administrator Michelle Gallagher. "But it's a rain-or-shine event."
She recalled 2007's festival when the Sunday night headliner, Natalie Cole, sang in the rain while holding an umbrella as a poncho-wearing crowd danced and swayed in Coachman Park.
The weather should change noticeably over the next four days as a cold front comes through.
For starters, there's about a 50 percent chance of rain today and Friday, likely in the afternoons and evenings, with the odds of rain beginning to dwindle Friday night.
"Any rain we get Thursday will probably be during the afternoon hours. On Friday, it will be on and off throughout the day," said John McMichael, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
"Thursday should be warm, with above-normal temperatures," he said. "Saturday and Sunday should be drier and cooler."
Instead of temperatures approaching an unseasonable 90 degrees, this weekend should offer more pleasant temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
Perfect crisp weather as the wail of a saxophone and the tinkling of piano keys float through the air.
Mike Brassfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4160.