A resounding "ahhhhhhh" swept across the Tampa Bay area a couple of weeks ago as rain fell, easing a months-long drought. The heavens took pity on our crispy brown lawns and cracked reservoirs and sent us some love.
Sweet, beautiful rain. Cascading showers. The pitter-patter against our windows, the gurgling rush in our street gutters.
Now when's it going to stop?
Memorial Day weekend plans: ruined. Barbecue grills and patio decks: soaked. Outdoor concerts in the park: miserable. Trips to beaches and dog parks: gross.
"It's like living in Maine or Seattle," said Marcus Dergins of St. Petersburg, who was hanging out at the Pier on Friday. "Hopefully the suicide rate won't go up."
Actually, even Seattle isn't getting this much rain right now, said Nolan Watson, 75, who is visiting Tampa from Seattle this weekend. He planned to visit Ybor City. Instead he longs for his hometown, where it's 72 degrees and sunny today.
It's not just that we forgot what rain was like. This really is a heck of a lot of rain. So much so that we're starting to creep up on records.
Since meteorologists began officially recording the weather in 1890, the most days in a row that rain has fallen in Tampa is 17. That happened in 1905.
If it rains today in Tampa — and you know it will — it will be the 12th day of rain in a row. Tampa will tie the record if it rains every day until Thursday.
The record in St. Petersburg is 14 days in a row of rain, which occurred in 1961 and 1983.
That means St. Petersburg could tie a record Monday.
Since May 12, when our streak of consecutive rainy days began, 7.15 inches of rain has fallen in Tampa, and St. Petersburg has gotten 5.7 inches.
Every day next week carries at least a 40 percent chance of rain or thunderstorms, Bay News 9 reports.
That's bad news for boaters, beach bums, Little League players, people with dogs or kids and … well, pretty much everyone.
Everyone, that is, except for government water regulators — we still have a ways to go to dig ourselves out of a three-year drought — and rain romantics like Amanda Roper.
"I enjoy the rain," said Roper, hanging out before her shift at Lucky Dill in downtown St. Petersburg. "We need it. I'm all for it all weekend. I'm all for it all summer."
Roper, who is from New York and carries an umbrella every day, is not alone. Some people love the rain.
Forecasters know this and proceed with caution.
"We don't try to make the rain out to be a good thing or a bad thing," said Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay. "We try to just stick with the facts; otherwise we're bound to make someone mad."
Anyone dying for a bit of sunshine should probably head out in the morning, Clay said. Forecasts call for mostly afternoon showers through the weekend, including Memorial Day.
And perhaps forever. (Or so it seems.)
Clay knows some people are eager for that zero percent chance of rain again. After 25 years of giving weather forecasts, though, he has one message for those people.
"Droughts are followed by floods and floods are followed by droughts," he said. "Be careful what you wish for."
Times staff writers Kevin Smetana, Andy Boyle and Brant James contributed to this report. Emily Nipps can be reached at (727) 893-8452.