Days of patchy rain expected throughout Tampa Bay

It's going to be a wet few days for the Tampa Bay area as an area of low pressure moves in from the northern Gulf Coast and brings heavy rains for much of the region.

A 70 percent chance of rain Tuesday means most of the area will see at least an inch or so, according to the National Weather Service. And as the area of low pressure meets a cold front dipping down from the north, rain will move eastward across the state, experts said.

"There's not going to be rain in one area all day long," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez. "It'll be on and off throughout the day."

Storms brought dangerous conditions to the area Tuesday, with cloud to ground lightning reported near Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa and a weather service advisory that warned of moderate riptides at area beaches. Isolated flooding was also possible in flood-prone areas, experts warned.

Forecasters predict rain chances will stay high, at about 50 percent, on Wednesday as the bulk of the weather passes over the area. Morning showers are likely, experts said.

But the area is expected to dry out by Thursday. Mostly.

"We're still in our summer weather pattern," said weather service forecaster Ernie Jillson.

That means afternoon thunderstorms.

Temperatures will remain largely unaffected by the cold front, whose coolest air is on its easternmost side, Marquez said.

Expect temperatures only a few degrees lower than usual — in the mid 80s during the day and 70s at night — thanks to cloud cover and patches of rain, meteorologists said.

Winds will likely increase this week to about 15 to 20 mph as the system passes over Tampa Bay.

Marissa Lang can be reached at mlang@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8804.

Days of patchy rain expected throughout Tampa Bay 09/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 4:57pm]

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