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Forecast for the Gasparilla flotilla and parade: Cool temperatures, some clouds and no rain

The day will start chilly but warm up nicely by the time the Parade of Pirates gets rolling. A light chop on the bay will mean manageable seas for the Jose Gasparilla and its flotilla.
Lee Winter throws beaded necklaces into the crowd during this week’s Gasparilla pirate invasion in Tampa. The event culminates in a flotilla and parade on Saturday.
Published Jan. 25

TAMPA — Saturday is shaping up to be a fine day for a pirate invasion.

After a chilly start with lows in the 40s, temperatures will climb to near 60 by midday when the fully-rigged pirate ship Jose Gasparilla is set to sail across Hillsborough Bay on its way to the Tampa Convention Center, according to the National Weather Service.

RELATED: Life of the Party Podcast: Drunk pirates, beads and the history of Gasparilla

The mercury will hit the day's high of about 64 degrees as the Parade of Pirates is rolling down Bayshore Boulevard, said Jennifer Hubbard, a forecaster for the weather service in Ruskin. The parade begins at 2 p.m.

Most important for an annual event that starts on the water and ends with a parade: Skies will be partly sunny and the winds won't be howling.

"We're not expecting any rain for the area, maybe some increasing cloud cover later in the day," said Hubbard, who is still on the job but going without pay because of the partial government shutdown.

Northeast winds from 8 to 10 mph will mean manageable conditions for the iconic Jose Gasparilla and the hundreds of other vessels large and small expected to join the flotilla.

"It's not going to be too bad in the bay, but if they venture outside of the bay it will be a little choppy," Hubbard said.

There is a 30 percent chance of rain on Sunday after about 2 a.m. The forecast high is near 60, about 10 degrees below normal for this time of year.

Cooler-than-normal temperatures will prevail through late next week. A cold front will move through the area Tuesday into Wednesday, keeping high temperatures in the low- to mid-60s and overnight lows in the 40s.

After the chance of rain on Sunday, there is no precipitation in the forecast through Thursday, forecasters say.

Contact Tony Marrero at or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.


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