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Goodbye, Ida! Now bring on the rain, wind and cool temperatures

TAMPA — As a weakening Ida moves through the South, weather systems behind the storm will bring a noticeable change to the Tampa Bay area.

There's about a 50 percent chance people could see rain today, weather officials said. That comes after most areas saw between a half-inch and inch of rain on Tuesday.

And after the rain: strong wind gusts and a cold front.

"That cool front was just kind of hanging around up there, and now that Ida's moving away, we'll see that front racing in on the backside of Ida," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Mike Clay. "It's about right on time."

Temperatures are expected to gradually drop over the next couple of days, settling into highs in the low 70s and lows in the 50s by Thursday.

"It also will be much drier," said Paul Close, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin. "It may feel kind of chilly to people."

The more extreme aftermath of Ida will be on the East Coast, from Florida to Virginia, where the "weather's going to be horrible," Clay said. As Ida shifts from a tropical system to a nontropical low-pressure area, big storms will form in the Atlantic and hang around for days.

"It's one of those deals where Ida's gone now, but 24 hours after it leaves, we'll be hearing about houses flooding and beach erosion on the East Coast," Clay said. "But around here, it'll just be breezy and cooler."

Storm surge along the Pinellas beaches disappointed surfers, reaching about 3 feet. Beach erosion, if any, appears to be minimal along Sunset Beach, which traditionally sees some of the worst beach erosion in the county.

After making landfall in Alabama early Tuesday as a rapidly weakening tropical storm, Ida was downgraded to a tropical depression by 9 a.m.

Shortly after, the National Hurricane Center discontinued all tropical storm warnings associated with the storm.

Ida first made landfall on Dauphin Island, Ala., just before 6 a.m. Tuesday, with maximum sustained winds of about 45 mph.

It arrived on the mainland about an hour later just northwest of Bon Secour, Ala.

Times staff writer Kameel Stanley contributed to this report.

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Goodbye, Ida! Now bring on the rain, wind and cool temperatures 11/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 10:38pm]
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