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Heavy storms, hail may hit parts of bay area

The intersection of Ninth Avenue N and 49th Street in St. Petersburg was flooded Monday as heavy thunderstorms moved through the area.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

The intersection of Ninth Avenue N and 49th Street in St. Petersburg was flooded Monday as heavy thunderstorms moved through the area.

Heavy moisture collecting in the Gulf of Mexico threatened to bring severe storms and possibly hail to the Tampa Bay area Monday, experts said.

Although thunderstorms are summer afternoon fixtures, a southeasterly moving system would "enhance" the potential for harsher weather as the day progresses, meteorologists said.

By the afternoon, some areas might even be pelted with patches of large, heavy hail, according to the National Weather Service.

That's because dense patches of humidity hovering just off the Gulf Coast will be pushed inland with the sea breezes, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik.

The storms will stay closer to the coast for much of Monday before moving inland by Tuesday, experts said.

Hail is not unheard of during the summer, according to weather service forecaster Jennifer Colson. But, she added, cold air moving into the area from offshore would increase that potential substantially.

Areas north of the Tampa Bay region are more likely to see hail, scattered thunderstorms are expected throughout the area.

Temperatures were expected to remain steady, with highs around 90 degrees.

Heavy storms, hail may hit parts of bay area 07/16/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 16, 2012 3:00pm]
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