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Storms start week of much-needed rain in Tampa Bay

For today, the worst of the rain should be over.

Most of Tampa Bay got about a quarter of an inch to a bit more than a half-inch of rain, according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez. The strongest storms were south of Tampa and closer to Sarasota and Fort Myers by early Monday, said Andrew McKaughan, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

By 7 a.m. Monday, Ruskin saw more than three-quarters of an inch of rain, and in Tampa it was a third of an inch of rain. In St. Petersburg, it was just under a half-inch of rain.

Rain was heavier in southern Hillsborough and Polk counties, McKaughan said. Bradenton had more than 2 inches of rain, Marquez said.

A smaller cluster of heavy rain storms moved through Pasco and Hernando counties before 7 a.m., and was expected to last a couple of hours.

"Most of it should be more or less done with, but we do have rain chances all week for our area," McKaughan said.

There was a chance of scattered showers for Monday afternoon. Expect even more rain Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before it lets up this weekend.

"It should be very beneficial for our little minidrought we've been having," McKaughan said.

With rain comes traffic. Interstate 275 was backed up from about the exit for Interstate 4 to the exit for Lois Avenue, according to a radio traffic report.

Since 6 a.m., there were at least 10 crashes in Hillsborough County and at least four in Pasco County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Storms start week of much-needed rain in Tampa Bay 03/28/11 [Last modified: Monday, March 28, 2011 10:51am]
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