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Cold front brings storms, accidents Monday morning

Overnight and morning rain turns a parking lot into a small lake Monday morning on Westshore Boulevard in Tampa.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

Overnight and morning rain turns a parking lot into a small lake Monday morning on Westshore Boulevard in Tampa.

A strong cold front swept through Tampa Bay early Monday, bringing along heavy rain, wind and traffic delays.

Rain drenched the area from about 4 to 5:30 a.m., though the weather should clear up in the afternoon, according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker.

"We'll get rid of the clouds probably by lunchtime," Linker said.

Areas ahead of the front were in the 70s, but those temperatures are falling to the 50s as the front moves east, he said.

Temperatures should be in the 60s later Monday.

A severe thunderstorm warning was in place for Hernando and Pasco counties early Monday, and Citrus County was under a tornado warning.

Monday morning's storms should be the most dramatic weather of the week, though it will be a little chilly for the next few days, he said.

It's still a little "iffy" what kind of weather Gasparilla revelers should see Saturday, he said. The current forecast shows a few storms out in the morning.

"Hopefully they'll be cleared out by the time the parade comes in," he said.

Amid the morning's downpour were several vehicle accidents.

Officials shut down the northbound lanes on I-275 near Lois Avenue following four crashes that closed that part of the highway, prompting a massive rush-hour backup on the Howard Frankland Bridge.

No one was injured, and the vehicles did not collide, officials said.

The northbound lanes north of Tampa International Airport stretching to Lois Avenue were back open by 7 a.m.

The I-275 snarl was just one of many minor crashes that happened early Monday morning around the bay area. None of the others caused any road blocks or injuries as of 7 a.m.

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Cold front brings storms, accidents Monday morning 01/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 8:04am]
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