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Thunderstorms, surf advisories remain in effect for Tampa Bay area

Pete Dooley sips his morning coffee and reads with his dog Harley at his feet at Lassing Park on Tuesday morning. Dooley watched the sun rise over Tampa Bay before packing it in as storm clouds come in from the Gulf of Mexico. “I just come down in the mornings and hang and get ready to deal with the day,” he said.

LARA CERRI | Times

Pete Dooley sips his morning coffee and reads with his dog Harley at his feet at Lassing Park on Tuesday morning. Dooley watched the sun rise over Tampa Bay before packing it in as storm clouds come in from the Gulf of Mexico. “I just come down in the mornings and hang and get ready to deal with the day,” he said.

Severe thunderstorms moved ashore and Tampa Bay beaches and shorelines remained under a high surf advisory as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee continued to spawn stormy weather throughout west central Florida.

The surf advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. Tuesday for much of Florida's west coast, including Tampa Bay, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters warned of the possibility of dangerous rip currents and large waves up to 6 feet in the region.

What was once Tropical Storm Lee merged with a frontal system, creating a prolonged period of strong and gusty south to southwest winds in the Tampa Bay area.

Up to 45 mile-per-hour winds were reported along Cleawater Beach. Several areas had an inch or two of rain and scattered power outages were reported throughout the Tampa Bay area, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.

In the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Katia was expected to follow a path that kept it away from Florida before making a turn for open ocean, according to Bay News 9.

Forecasters warned that Florida's east coast could see strong rip currents and high surf.

A 40-year-old St. Petersburg man drowned while trying to teach his children to surf near Daytona Beach.

Volusia County Beach Patrol spokesman Rich Gardner says Richard Kerr got into trouble Monday afternoon in the strong current in an unguarded area of beach.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/nK3Ssb) reports the beaches were so crowded on Labor Day that officials closed traffic approaches.

Beachgoers were warned of jellyfish and red flags along the stretch of Volusia County beaches indicated strong rip currents, stirred up by Hurricane Katia.

Gardner says Kerr was trying to help his children in the rough surf when he started having difficulty.

Beach patrol spokeswoman Tammy Marris says Kerr was not breathing when he was brought ashore. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Tracking Lee

Weather Underground Inc. | Updates on this storm

Tracking Katia

Weather Underground Inc. | Updates on this storm

Thunderstorms, surf advisories remain in effect for Tampa Bay area 09/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 12:53pm]
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