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Expect more warmth today, heavy rain later this week

Tuesday should be warm and a bit cloudy, with a small chance of showers in the morning.

Most of Tampa Bay was in the 50s early Tuesday, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez. St. Petersburg was 56 degrees and Tampa was 54 about 6 a.m.

There is a 20 percent chance of showers later Tuesday morning, thanks to a system moving east from the Gulf of Mexico, she said. At 6 a.m., the rain was about 55 miles from Pinellas and Pasco counties.

"Most of us will not see any rain at all," Marquez said.

Tuesday's highs are in the upper 60s and low 70s, just a few degrees shy of the average high of 75.

Coastal residents will have a slightly cooler day than those in areas east of Tampa Bay because of water temperatures that remain in the mid to upper 50s. Air heading toward the coast is colder after blowing over chilly water, she said.

Wednesday reflects much of Tuesday's weather without the rain, she said.

But a stronger rain chance will come ahead of a cold front later this week.

There is a 50 percent chance of rain Thursday, and a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday.

The cold front means we are in store for a cool and dry weekend, as morning temperatures will drop to the 40s and 50s and afternoon highs will be in the upper 60s.

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Expect more warmth today, heavy rain later this week 03/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 12:10pm]

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