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More rain heading to the Tampa Bay area

More rain was expected to wash over the Tampa Bay area on Friday, threatening outdoor graduation ceremonies and possibly snarling traffic.

A flood watch is in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, according to the National Weather Service.

As part of Tampa's Screen on the Green series, the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark was scheduled for Friday night at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. But because of rainy conditions, it has been postponed until June 15.

Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure said the mix of rain showers and thunderstorms coming in from the Gulf of Mexico will not be as heavy as Thursday's downpours.

The chance of rain will decline into the weekend to about 50 percent on Saturday and between 30 and 40 percent for Sunday, McClure said, but it won't stop for long given the rainy season, during which the chance of rain generally remains anywhere between 30 and 50 percent.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, over the past 24 hours, 1.88 inches of rain were reported in downtown Tampa. In downtown St. Petersburg, rain totaled 0.88 inches.

"Rain doesn't stop here until October," McClure said. "We really have a rain chance just about every single day."

In Pinellas, several high schools with outdoor graduations will try Friday to hold their ceremonies, including St. Petersburg High School and Countryside High School.

Graduations

The backup plan

New times for outdoor graduation ceremonies postponed Thursday:

Today

Palm Harbor University High: Ceremonies will be in the gym at 9 a.m. for International Baccalaureate graduates, at noon for medical graduates and 3 p.m. for traditional graduates

Tarpon Springs High: 10 a.m. on the high school field. Alternative: 7 p.m Monday on the field.

The backup plans for schools with outdoor graduations scheduled for today in case of rainy weather:

Countryside High: The graduation set for 8 a.m. will move to the school gymnasium later in the morning, dividing the graduates into two ceremonies. Times depend on the period when the outdoor ceremony is canceled and details will be communicated at the original ceremony.

Largo High: Monday in the school cafeteria according to the following schedule:

• 8 a.m.: Students with last names beginning with A-L and National Honor Society students with last names beginning with A-L.

• 11 a.m.: Students with last names beginning with M-Z and National Honor Society students with last names beginning with M-Z.

St. Petersburg High: Saturday at 9 a.m. at Stewart Field.

More rain heading to the Tampa Bay area 06/08/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 8, 2012 3:20pm]

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