Heavy rains that soaked much of the Tampa Bay area Thursday would be followed by a second line of storms overnight and into this morning, weather experts said. But the severity of those storms and the possibility of any weather-related damage was difficult to predict.
A second line of storms was forming in the Gulf of Mexico late Thursday and was expected to blanket much of the state during the night, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure.
Showers should clear out by midday today, McClure said, with mostly clear skies and highs in the 70s throughout the weekend.
The first front came through Thursday morning, drenching the bay area during rush hour and lasting throughout the day.
Rainfall totals as of late Thursday showed northern Pinellas County accumulating less than a half-inch, while St. Petersburg reported 1 inch. Areas throughout Hillsborough County saw between a half-inch and an inch of rain, while cities in Pasco and Hernando counties saw a half-inch or less.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for several bay area counties Thursday afternoon, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Polk, as severe thunderstorms swept across Florida.
Wet conditions created headaches for motorists throughout the bay area Thursday. Pinellas Park firefighters said the rain caused a car and a truck to collide at Park Boulevard and 40th Street N on Thursday afternoon, sending two people to the hospital.
Damage from the crash trapped a woman inside the car and forced rescue workers to use the "Jaws of Life" to remove her, officials said. The woman and another passenger were taken to a local hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.