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Beryl brings scattered showers to Tampa Bay area

Wes Akers inspects damage Monday on a home in Avondale caused by a downed tree in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Beryl. Beryl came ashore early Monday near Jacksonville Beach with winds of 70 mph, near hurricane strength.

Associated Press

Wes Akers inspects damage Monday on a home in Avondale caused by a downed tree in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Beryl. Beryl came ashore early Monday near Jacksonville Beach with winds of 70 mph, near hurricane strength.

Scattered showers from Tropical Storm Beryl dampened some Memorial Day services on Monday, and forecasters said more rain may fall on the Tampa Bay area today and Wednesday.

Beryl came ashore near Jacksonville just after midnight Monday with 70 mph winds, just 4 mph shy of hurricane strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm slowed once it reached land, where it brought up to 6 inches of rain and possible flooding to North Florida and Georgia. By late morning Beryl had been downgraded to a tropical depression, and it began to turn north later in the day.

Forecasters expect it to crawl into Georgia and the Carolinas before it moves off into the Atlantic later this week.

There were no reports of major injuries or damage, though more than 20,000 people in North Florida lost power and some cities had to cancel Memorial Day services.

Locally, Tampa and St. Petersburg didn't get a lot of rain from Beryl, but some places to the west and along the north Suncoast had showers, storms and gusty winds.

Forecasters said the southern side of the storm still could drag showers into the Tampa Bay area overnight and today.

Bay News 9 said rain chances are 50 percent today and 40 percent Wednesday. Chances are greater north of Tampa.

The weather pattern also will increase the humidity.

Temperatures will remain in the upper 80s this week, but National Weather Service forecaster Eric Oglesby said the muggy air will be uncomfortable.

"The temperature won't be as high as we've seen," Oglesby said. "But the humidity will make it seem that much hotter."

The second named storm of the year, Beryl was also the second to form before the official start of hurricane season on Friday. This, experts have said, is unusual but not unheard of. It is not indicative of the upcoming season's activity.

Gov. Rick Scott met Monday with Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and other elected officials as city workers began cleaning up downed tree branches and power lines. Brown said the city would assess any damage before deciding how much federal or state aid to seek.

Times staff writers Marissa Lang and Laura C. Morel contributed to this report, which includes information from the Associated Press.

Beryl brings scattered showers to Tampa Bay area 05/28/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 11:44pm]
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