Summer officially began in Tampa Bay early this morning after creeping in the back door while most residents of the region slept last night.
The summer solstice marked the start of the season at 1:04 a.m., and Friday will be the longest day of the year.
The sun was expected to rise at 6:36 a.m. and set at 8:30 p.m. in St. Petersburg, according to the National Weather Service. In Tampa, sunrise was at about 6:34 a.m. and sunset will fall at approximately 8:29 p.m.
The season is beginning with what is forecast to be a very typical weekend around the bay area, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik.
Temperatures are expected to continue to hover in the upper 80s and low 90s, with higher heat indices.
"It'll still be right around 100 for the heat index," Kacmarik said.
A sea breeze will probably blow onto shore and there will be "pretty normal chances" for showers, she said.
Beachgoers seeking reprieve from the heat this weekend will find water temperatures in the 80s under partly sunny skies.