Showers and thunderstorms soaked Tampa Bay early Monday, but the rains should give way to a dry and windy afternoon.
The storms preceded a cold front moving northeast about 6 a.m., said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez. The rain should stop when the front arrives later in the morning.
The downpour was not expected to affect the closing day of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg again. The final race was rescheduled for 10 a.m. Monday after being rained out Sunday.
As of 8 a.m., the gates were to open at 9 a.m. and the race would start on time, said Tip Nunn, Grand Prix spokesman.
Downtown St. Petersburg had received almost 4 inches of rain since Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Colson. About 1.72 inches of that came down between midnight to 6:30 a.m. Monday.
Tampa reported 1.78 inches since Sunday, and Ruskin had about 2 inches, Colson said.
Heavy rain was hampering early-morning motorists, likely a factor in several crashes the Florida Highway Patrol handled along Interstates 275, 4 and 75.
The weather wasn't looking so pretty behind the front either, she said. Expect winds of about 15 to 25 mph and temperatures around the upper 60s.
"It really won't be the best of days," Marquez said.
Monday night was looking clear and cool, probably dropping to the low 50s.
After a chilly morning, Tuesday should heat up to the 70s.
The warm-up won't end there. Marquez expects the end of the week to hit the low 80s.
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