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Tampa Bay can expect rainy weekend

Stormy weather once again wreaked havoc around Tampa Bay, as the area got its 10th consecutive day of rain Thursday.

Winds gusts were as high as 37 mph and most places in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando counties got an additional half inch to an inch during afternoon storms, according to the National Weather Service.

Expect more of the same today and throughout Memorial Day weekend, weather officials said.

The storms unleashed a bolt of lightning that struck a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 turboprop plane shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday.

The plane, which officials said was returning from a logistics flight to the Bahamas, landed safely at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

The storms also set off pockets of power outages around the area, including a brief one at Tropicana Field during the Rays game.

About 200 Progress Energy residents lost power, a company spokesman said.

Today's forecast calls for cloudy skies and highs in the low 80s. Chances for rain stand at 60 percent, although that may diminish slightly in the evening. Saturday's forecast will likely be similar.

The rain may ease up slightly on Sunday, forecasters said, but there is still about a 40 percent chance of scattered afternoon thunderstorms.

Tampa Bay can expect rainy weekend 05/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:40pm]

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