Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Showers drop up to 4 inches of rain on Tampa Bay area

Tampa Bay's dry season started off a little damp, with slick roads likely behind several car crashes and wind gusts blowing out power for thousands.

This weekend's scattered showers dropped 1 to 4 inches of rain on the bay area — accumulating nearly the entire average rainfall for October, meteorologists said. Rainfall in eastern Hillsborough County was slightly higher, with some areas seeing 4 inches, than that closer to the coast.

"Rainfall drops off fast," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure, "so it's great to get an event like this."

October tends to bring little more than 2 inches of rain, he said, in contrast to the September norm of more than 6 inches.

For the year-to-date, Tampa has seen about 50 inches of rain, which is about 9 inches above normal, according to the National Weather Service.

McClure predicts on-and-off rain will continue through Monday, between bouts of warmer sunshine and wind gusts lightening to breezes. By the end of the week, he said a cold front will succeed the steady rain, drying out humidity and cooling temperatures to highs around 80 degrees and lows around 60.

The three days of winds and rain came from a pressure gradient: A northern high-pressure system and southern low-pressure system sandwiched the bay area. That pushed through gusts of up to 40 mph Saturday, quieting to about 25 mph Sunday.

Bustling gusts contributed to power outages sweeping across Tampa Bay neighborhoods, said Progress Energy spokeswoman Pamela Oakley-Lisk. Winds caused many small outages, she said, which can take longer to fix than issues with transmission lines or substations.

Progress Energy restored power to about 16,000 Pinellas County customers over the weekend, Oakley-Lisk said. On Sunday morning, about 500 reported being without power, mostly around St. Petersburg and Palm Harbor.

"It's been a busy weekend," Oakley-Lisk said.

Tampa Electric listed a few dozen outages scattered across Hillsborough and Pasco counties on its website Sunday.

On the roads, Florida Highway Patrol responded to dozens of accidents, most of them minor. Spokesman Steve Gaskins said many may have been caused by limited visibility and slick roads.

Without recent rainfall, oil and transmission fluids build up on the roads.

"People crash on bright, sunny days," Gaskins said. "Then you add in things like limited visibility, winds, rain, wet roads and so forth. You're gonna have crashes."

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Stephanie Wang can be reached at or (813) 661-2443.

Showers drop up to 4 inches of rain on Tampa Bay area 10/09/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 9, 2011 7:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Accountability plan, post-Irma, turnarounds and more


    ACCOUNTABILITY: The Florida Department of Education submits a revised Every Student Succeeds Act plan without the waiver requests it had originally proposed. Experts and advocates …

    High Point Elementary teacher Kristen Bierman works with English language learners on their reading skills. The state wants to test all students in English, saying it's Florida law.
  2. Rays morning after: Zim's legacy felt on bunt play



  3. Work, threats continue as Hernando recovers from Irma

    Local Government


    Hurricane Irma's fierce winds are becoming a memory, but the water the storm left behind has become a real threat on Hernando's east side.

    This aerial drone view shows flooding on the Withlacoochee River in the Talisman Estates area of east Hernando, south of Ridge Manor. The river is about 6 feet above flood stage, and its floodwaters are not expected to recede for days.
  4. A boy and a girl stare at the camera from their house after Hurrciane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. [Associated Prss]
  5. Forecast: Dry air, hot temperatures remain in control across Tampa Bay


    Dry but hot weather will continue Thursday across Tampa Bay with only a 20 percent chance of showers forecast for the afternoon.

    7 day forecast. [WTSP]