Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Thunderstorms may spoil outdoor Memorial Day plans

Beachgoers and boaters may have to ditch the swimsuits and picnics this Memorial Day as rain — and lots of it — threatens to wash out today's outdoor festivities.

Forecasters predict scattered thunderstorms will cloud the holiday, starting as early as dawn and continuing into Tuesday.

"It'll be on and off all day," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker. "There won't be a lot of sunshine."

Stirred by Tropical Storm Beryl to the north, southwest winds and moisture will combine for a 70 percent chance of rain locally.

That's "atypical" for this time of year, Linker said. It's unusual to see a tropical storm affecting the forecasts in May, plus it's still an early start to the regular summer rainy season.

Breaks in the rain may allow some outdoor holiday plans to continue, but Linker warns those drawn to the coast that lightning is likely throughout the day and breezy winds will cause choppy waters.

"You need to have more of a heightened awareness of the weather situation," he said.

Boaters tend to flock to the water on Memorial Day, but storms may spoil the tradition.

"We want you to enjoy your holiday, but don't endanger your holiday," said Robert Scholl, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Don't go out onto the water if thunderstorms are nearby, he suggested. Scholl cited a reminder of how quickly the weather can turn: On Friday, authorities rescued four fishermen whose boat capsized off Hernando Beach. The men were found clinging to the overturned boat, flung into the water before they could put on life jackets.

If boaters choose to venture out, Scholl encourages staying closer to shore and being prepared to head back quickly.

Boaters are required by law to keep life jackets, a whistle and other safety equipment on board.

Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Steve Gaskins urged drivers to use caution while traveling on Memorial Day. Last year's three-day weekend recorded 175 crashes on Hillsborough County roads, 115 in Pinellas County, 69 in Pasco County and 16 in Hernando County, according to the patrol.

With the addition of rain to increased traffic, drivers should take further precautions: Slow down and don't follow other cars too closely, Gaskins said.

But the inclement weather won't dampen everyone's holiday. Surfers may rejoice in the waves, and the showers may offer some relief to dry areas that haven't seen enough rainfall this year.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at swang@tampabay.com or (813) 661-2443.

Thunderstorms may spoil outdoor Memorial Day plans 05/27/12 [Last modified: Sunday, May 27, 2012 10:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    Jerry Lewis, who teamed with Dean Martin in the '50s before starring in The Nutty Professor and later founding the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon has died at 91 at his home in Las Vegas, according to his publicist.

    More to come.

    Jerry Lewis in 1980. [Times Files]
  2. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501
  3. Pasco County man killed in wrong-way crash on New Jersey Turnpike

    Accidents

    MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Authorities say a Florida man driving the wrong way on the New Jersey Turnpike was killed when his SUV crashed head-on into another vehicle.

  4. No bond for suspect in Kissimmee officers' fatal shooting

    Crime

    KISSIMMEE — A suspect in the fatal shooting of two police officers in Florida will be staying in jail after a judge denied him bond Sunday, saying there was probable cause for his first-degree murder charge

    Officers Matthew Baxter, left, and Sam Howard, right, who were both shot and killed in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. [Kissimmee Police]
  5. Tampa police arrest 22-year-old man in July murder

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police arrested Sunday a 22-year-old man who detectives said shot and killed a Tampa man after an argument.

    Tampa police arrested Dejonta Felder, 22, in the murder of 32-year-old Julius R. Carter. [Tampa Police Department]