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Weather forecast | Morning of Friday, June 26

Disturbed weather in Caribbean bears watching

Up to three inches of rain has fallen around Tampa Bay, flooding streets and snarling traffic, but the brunt of a wave of strong morning storms has passed.

Now keep your eye on a tropical wave that has developed in the Caribbean.

Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay says the wave "isn't expected to develop in the Caribbean, but conditions appear more favorable for development once the system gets into the Gulf of Mexico.''

Clay said there is a 30 to 50 percent chance the wave could become a tropical depression or tropical storm, which could bring more rain to the Tampa Bay area.

"We are headed into an extended period of 'onshore' flow or reverse summertime pattern,'' Clay said. "The rain chances will probably be pretty high, especially next week when the southwest winds set up stronger and moisture gets into the Gulf.''

A series of thunderstorms have demonstrated some convection and are now being watched by the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service says the tropical wave could become a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

Even without a tropical wave, Friday's weather was troublesome enough for Tampa Bay, as strong thunderstorms rolled through, followed by several accidents, notably on the Howard Frankland, Gandy and Sunshine Skyway bridges.

It made for a painful and frustrating morning commute.

And in Tampa, drivers were plagued with flooded roads and disabled traffic lights.

The intersection of MacDill Avenue and Lemon Street in West Tampa was heavily flooded, leaving many cars stranded with flashers on. In south Tampa, Bayshore Boulevard near the ramp to Davis Island and the intersection of Macdill Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard also flooded. The traffic lights on Kennedy were knocked out.

Power lines were down at 28th Street S and 63rd Ave. S in St. Petersburg and about 2,300 customers were briefly without power in the Shore Acres, according to Progress Energy.

The storms also produced hundreds of lightning strikes, Bay News 9 reported.

Saturday's forecast

Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Disturbed weather in Caribbean bears watching 06/26/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 27, 2009 1:35pm]

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