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Cooler, rainy weather headed for Tampa Bay; storms causing flight delays

After a mild Christmas, the Tampa Bay area should expect showers and thunderstorms Wednesday, ushering in colder temperatures by tonight.

Bay News 9 forecast a cold front to move through the bay area by midday. Showers could be heavy at times, and there was slight risk of a severe thunderstorm.

Severe weather in other areas of the country have caused delays and cancellations at Tampa International Airport, said spokeswoman Janet Zink.

As of about 10:45 a.m., "we had about five departures canceled and four arrivals cancelled, most of them from the Midwest,'' she said. "We had 11 delayed departures and seven delayed arrivals, mostly from the Midwest, some from the Texas area and some from the Northeast.''

She recommended that people who are scheduled to fly out or pick up someone today at TIA check first with their airline or go to tampaairport.com to check flight status.

The National Weather Service issued wind and small watercraft weather advisories for the Tampa Bay area Wednesday through 9 p.m., forecasting winds around 20 to 25 mph as the front moved through.

Temperatures were expected to be in the low 70s Wednesday afternoon, Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez said, but could fall to the 40s by Thursday morning. The northern counties could see temperatures in the 30s.

"We're talking about a big temperature drop," Marquez said.

The front was forecast to push south of the area by late afternoon, leaving behind mostly clear and windy conditions with cooler temperatures.

Temperatures were expected warm briefly on Saturday before the arrival of another cold front. A 60 percent chance of rain was forecast for Saturday, with clear conditions returning by next week for a dry New Year's Day.

Information from Bay News 9 and the National Weather Service contributed to this report.

Cooler, rainy weather headed for Tampa Bay; storms causing flight delays 12/26/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 2:22pm]
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