As Floridians along the east coast have been getting hammered by sheets of rain, strong winds and rough surf, all is relatively calm in the Tampa Bay area.
In fact, the presence of Hurricane Irene moving up the opposite coast is expected to cause drier and hotter-than-usual conditions here, according to the National Weather Service.
Enjoy Friday's strong breeze caused by the sandwiching of pressures on either coast, said NWS forecaster Jennifer McNatt. Saturday and Sunday could be uncomfortable in the absence of rain. Most of the Tampa Bay area will get up to the mid-90s, with the inland areas getting as hot as 97 or 98 degrees.
On Central Florida's east coast, in areas such as Daytona Beach, a wind advisory was in effect until 6 p.m. today, warning of winds of about 25 mph, with occasional gusts up to 40 mph.
Surfers flocked to east coast beaches to take advantage of ocean swells of more than 12 feet, according to orlandosentinel.com. The waves especially posed danger for swimmers. Lifeguards in Brevard and Volusia were rescuing swimmers from the rough surf Friday morning.
Hurricane Irene's center, more than 200 miles from the coast of Daytona Beach, was passing Florida late in the morning with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, a Category 2 storm, according to Bay News 9. It was moving north at 14 mph toward the North Carolina coast, where it was expected to hit as a Category 3 storm Saturday.