Severe thunderstorms packing significant rainfall are headed for the Tampa Bay region.
Forecasters predict that an upper-level trough will begin sweeping across the Florida peninsula late Thursday, possibly bringing the most significant rainfall of the year.
"If it drops an inch or an inch and half, it will be one of the strongest systems we have seen this year,'' said Todd Barron, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
Barron said the worst of the weather should arrive overnight Thursday, with rain and severe isolated wind gusts over 60 mph.
Once the front passes through late Thursday and early Friday, Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay said, "we should be dry into the weekend."
Next week could end the unseasonably cool weather, at least for a while. "We're really going to warm up," Clay said. "It's going to feel like spring. It might even start to feel a little more like summer."