Shifting weather pattern could mean stormy Fourth of July for Tampa Bay

Seven-day forecast for Tuesday, July 3, 2018 in the Tampa Bay area.
Seven-day forecast for Tuesday, July 3, 2018 in the Tampa Bay area.
Published July 3 2018
Updated July 3 2018

A change in weather flow means scattered showers and potentially strong thunderstorms will arrive later in the day and into the night across Tampa Bay.

That, forecasters say, could make for a wet Fourth of July celebration.

Skies will be clear Tuesday morning across Tampa Bay, with highs in the low 90s.

But winds shifting from the east later in the day will draw storms westward across the peninsula from the Atlantic, according to the National Weather Service. By the early afternoon, folks around the Tampa Bay area may see a few scattered showers and a 50 percent chance of rain.

The majority of thunderstorms will arrive in the second half of the afternoon and into the evening, forecasters said.

EXTENDED FORECAST: The 10-day outlook for the Tampa Bay area

Wednesday’s Fourth of July celebration could be mired by scattered showers and thunderstorms by late afternoon and into the evening — just in time for fireworks, forecasters said.

Many of these storms will develop near the Atlantic coast, become more widespread as they move across the I-75 corridor and then shift west over Tampa Bay by the evening. They could produce locally heavy downpours, and folks celebrating outdoors should be wary of lightning, especially along the coast.

An area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico will produce numerous afternoon showers and storms well into the weekend, with ample humidity and highs in the upper 80s and low 90s. Heat indexes will spike into the 100s each day.

Some of those thunderstorms could be locally heavy and produce waterspouts like the one that was spotted in Indian Shores on Monday.

These weather events are quite enthralling but if they seem to be headed toward the beach, spectators should take shelter.

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