Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rain welcome in Tampa Bay area, but much more needed

A duck drinks from a puddle at Crescent Lake Park created by storms that came through St. Petersburg early Sunday.


A duck drinks from a puddle at Crescent Lake Park created by storms that came through St. Petersburg early Sunday.

ST. PETERSBURG — It had been so long since the last time it rained, mother-of-three Lisa Whitney had trouble finding her children's rain gear for an outing Sunday. So everybody got a little wet.

"It's kind of a pain," she said, trying to hold an umbrella over her kids' heads. "But hey, we need the rain, right?"

That we do. And although Sunday's downpour was the first steady rain to hit the Tampa Bay area in more than a month, forecasters say it's just a drop in the bucket compared to what the region will need to recover from a drought.

So don't turn on that lawn sprinkler just yet.

"You should still conserve water and follow the restrictions. One single rain event is not going to bring an end to the drought — not by a long shot," said Anthony Reynes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

"What we need is a lot of these. Unfortunately, that's not what we're looking at right now."

Roughly an inch of rain fell on the bay area from late Saturday night through Sunday afternoon, Reynes said. Some localized spots of heavy rain may have gotten up to 2 inches. A line of showers and a few thunderstorms moved eastward across the region ahead of a cool front.

"There's another system coming in on Tuesday, but it's looking much weaker than this one," Reynes said. The forecast calls for isolated showers Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sunday's rain was met with mixed reviews.

On one hand, it complicated things at the popular AirFest at MacDill Air Force Base. Storms forced the air show to cancel morning performances and to delay opening MacDill's gates for two hours.

On the other hand, the rain was met with waves of gratitude at places like Boyett's Grove in Spring Lake, where the citrus groves had been thirsting for natural precipitation in the midst of an important time for growth.

"It rained wonderfully last night. It was heaven-sent," said Kathy Oleson, co-owner of the Hernando County attraction, which grows oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, tangelos and kumquats.

"The growing season exists all year. The groves have been getting along — there's been irrigation. But it's always better to have the natural water as well."

But it's a long way to Florida's rainy season, which traditionally starts toward the end of May.

Staff writers Joel Anderson and Elisabeth Parker contributed to this report. Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4160.

Rain welcome in Tampa Bay area, but much more needed 03/29/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards


    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 


  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say


    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.