Atlantic storm system may bring the Tampa Bay area a rainy holiday weekend

A patch of disturbed weather off the Carolina coast was upgraded to Subtropical Storm Beryl late Friday night and could bring wet weather to the Tampa Bay area over the holiday weekend.

Officials issued tropical storm warnings and watches from northeast Florida to South Carolina. Beryl was packing 45 mph sustained winds late Friday night and was expected to strengthen over the weekend.

Forecasters expected the storm to take a sharp left turn and begin a westerly or southwesterly course today.

By Sunday and Monday, forecasters say, the system could move over North Florida or south Georgia and increase rain chances in the Tampa Bay area.

Forecasters are predicting about a 50 percent chance of rain Sunday and Monday in the Tampa Bay region. Temperatures will again hover in the mid 90s over the weekend. Tampa saw a high of 96 degrees Thursday and Friday, both records.

Beryl is the second tropical system to form already this year. Hurricane season officially begins June 1.

Meanwhile, a storm that was pounding much of Cuba and the Bahamas on Friday had about a 70 percent chance of becoming a cyclone, the National Hurricane Center reported.

Atlantic storm system may bring the Tampa Bay area a rainy holiday weekend 05/25/12 [Last modified: Saturday, May 26, 2012 12:23am]

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