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Showers across Tampa Bay to wind down by night

Sporadic showers will likely hit Tampa Bay throughout the afternoon, causing spurts of low visibility on the roads. But storms should taper off by night, said Bay News 9 Meteorologist Mike Clay.

"Expect your typical Florida thunderstorms with frequent lightning," Clay said. "I see them popping up now all over the place."

Bay News 9 traffic reporter Chuck Henson advised drivers to follow basic tips for commuting in the rain, like slowing down and increasing following distance. Conditions can turn bad quickly when a downpour strikes, he said.

"In these big squalls, as they happen the visibility drops to next to nothing on the roads," Henson said.

The weather outlook has remained unchanged for several days since the weekend as inches of rain have deluged the area.

Tampa saw 0.87 inches of rain on Monday, as of midnight, said Bay News 9 Meteorologist Juli Marquez, and St. Petersburg saw 2.43 inches. During the early morning, she said, parts of Pinellas saw another 1 to 2 inches of rain not included in those totals.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory early Tuesday morning, warning of urban and small stream flooding in Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park, and Seminole until 8 a.m. Forecasters said in the advisory that flooding had been reported at the intersection of Duhme Road and 150th Avenue in Madeira Beach shortly before 6 a.m.

At about 8:30 a.m., Pinellas Park police said officers had closed a section of 118th Avenue N between the 7100 and 7600 blocks because of flooding. The department advised drivers to take Bryan Dairy Road instead.

A flood watch is also in effect for all of Tampa Bay until 8 a.m. Wednesday.

"Since we had so much rain and the ground is saturated, if you get another quick couple inches of rain that can lead to some flooding," Marquez said.

She said the chance for rain on Wednesday would remain high at 60 percent, before dropping to 50 percent on Thursday, the Fourth of July. Afternoon storms could pop up on the holiday.

"A lot of people have been asking, 'When are we going to start getting the sunshine back to normal?' I think that will start happening on the Fourth of July," Marquez said.

Showers across Tampa Bay to wind down by night 07/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 2:53pm]
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