By Marissa Lang,
Times Staff Writer
The long-awaited rainy season may finally be on its way, a reprieve from the sweltering heat and dryness.
Isolated showers Thursday morning will morph into scattered thunderstorms as the day progresses, said Juli Marquez, a Bay News 9 meteorologist.
Scattered thunderstorms are expected to continue into the night.
Temperatures, which have consistently hit the mid to high 90s since the beginning of the month, are expected to drop closer to 90 degrees — the average for this time of year — and stay there Thursday and Friday.
Marquez said it appears the rainy season is finally under way, with the chance of rain remaining high throughout the week. There is a 50 percent chance of rainfall Thursday, which will increase to 60 percent Friday and Saturday.
The rainy season brings the likelihood of afternoon showers. As eastern sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean travel across Florida, heating up as they go, they meet cooler breezes off the Gulf of Mexico, creating ideal conditions for thunderstorms.
Thursday could mark the first significant rainfall Pinellas County has seen in weeks. Other counties, such as Hillsborough, Polk and DeSoto, have had small storms rolling in and out for more than a week.
These thunderstorms are expected to yield about a quarter inch of rain Thursday, said Richard Rude, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.