Thursday, July 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

Forecast: Cool and windy, a day after tornado touches down in St. Petersburg

TAMPA — Now that Sunday’s powerful front — which actually spawned a tornado and several reported waterspouts — has moved out of Tampa Bay, the start of the work week brings sunny skies, but much cooler temperatures.

This comes a day after the front generated periods of heavy rainfall, strong winds and high surf.

Brian LaMarre, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, confirmed a tornado touched down in the Childs Park neighborhood of St. Petersburg, causing trees to fall — one of which fell onto a house.

Power lines across the region also fell, and a large tree in the front yard of a house on the 4300 block of 14th Avenue S snapped at its base.

While the wind was a major issue, flooding was not. Rainfall totals varied around the Tampa Bay region, LaMarre said, with most places getting anywhere between a half-inch to an inch.

RELATED: Winds topple trees, down power lines in St. Petersburg

Residents can expect a very comfortable start to the week, as dry, less humid air has overtaken the region. Temperatures will stay in the 60s throughout most of the day, forecasters said.

No rain is in the forecast — unlike Sunday, when rainfall was consistent through the afternoon and evening, forecasters said.

Gusty winds, however, will continue to remain an issue.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is under a high wind advisory, with gusts of around 25-30 mph forecast for the area — and even higher gusts possible at the top of the bridge, forecasters said.

Coastal areas across Tampa Bay are under high surf and rip current advisories as high winds have caused the surf to reach as high as 7½ feet. These winds will make it dangerous for inexperienced swimmers in the gulf, said Rodney Wynn, a meteorologist with the NWS. Those currents can take swimmers away from shore and make it extremely difficult to swim back to the beach.

"If you get caught in it, just don’t fight it because you’re going to lose," Wynn said. "Just let it take you and swim parallel to the shore."

The cool weather won’t last for long. Forecasters say temperatures will creep back into the low 80s by the middle of the week.

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