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Rain expected to linger all day across Tampa Bay, but weekend's looking good

As soon as the rain let up Friday morning, it seemed everyone popped out of their homes to walk their dogs at the same time, observed Susan Hayes, left, of St. Petersburg’s Monticello Park neighborhood as she walked Spike, a cairn terrier, and Lilly, a beagle, down Monticello Boulevard N.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

As soon as the rain let up Friday morning, it seemed everyone popped out of their homes to walk their dogs at the same time, observed Susan Hayes, left, of St. Petersburg’s Monticello Park neighborhood as she walked Spike, a cairn terrier, and Lilly, a beagle, down Monticello Boulevard N.

Tampa Bay was hampered by heavy rain early Friday, but meteorologists said it looked like the area would avoid a repeat of Thursday's severe weather.

The rain will likely last all morning and into the afternoon, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Mike Clay.

Thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico over the region and would linger for a few hours, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.

"There are already lightning strikes showing up 20 miles offshore of the Pinellas coast," she said. More thunderstorms could arrive this afternoon, she said.

Coupled with Thursday's storms, the downpour could pose some flooding concerns, Clay said.

Still, the day should not be as bad as Thursday, when humidity and high winds combined to put Tampa Bay under a tornado watch for most of the day.

Two tornadoes touched down in Polk County Thursday afternoon.

The winds were not a problem Friday, Clay said. A small-craft advisory was in place for the southern offshore waters Friday morning and for all offshore waters Friday night through Saturday night.

Thunderstorms were much stronger at 6 a.m. Friday south of the bay area, near Sarasota and Manatee County.

"We're getting a little bit of thunder and lightning," Clay said.

Some areas around the region received several inches of rain from Thursday to 7 a.m. Friday, including Lutz, which got 4.45 inches, Marquez said.

Zephyrhills reported 3.56 inches, New Port Richey had 3.19, and Brooksville had 1.61.

Rainfall in St. Petersburg was .87 inches, and Brandon was .75.

Temperatures Friday morning hovered around the low 60s and were expected to climb to the 70s in the afternoon.

A cold front will follow the rain late Friday, paving the way for a cool, dry weekend.

Saturday should have highs in the upper 60s and low 70s.

The next chance of rain is Wednesday.

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Rain expected to linger all day across Tampa Bay, but weekend's looking good 03/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:59am]
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