Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Local Weather

Expect heavy rain and wind this weekend, to clear before Christmas

The weekend before Christmas will be wet, but conditions should improve before the holiday arrives on Wednesday.

Save those outdoor plans for next week. The weather has other ideas.

The weekend before Christmas will be windy and wet, said forecaster Dan Sobien of the National Weather Service in Ruskin, but conditions should improve toward the middle of next week.

A low-pressure system is expected to form in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, bringing wind and heavy rain through Monday.

“It’s not gonna be a nice weekend for outdoor activities,” Sobien said.

It won’t be particularly cold, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s or 60s.

But it won’t be beach or boating weather, either, with high winds and some beach erosion expected.

We also could see weather watches or warnings this weekend," Sobien said.

“Not a good time to take your 16-foot boat 30 miles out into the gulf,” he said.

The system will move to our east Sunday and Monday, making way for improved weather for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

By Tuesday, we should see sunshine, with skies partly cloudy to clear, and highs in the upper 70s.

Temperatures could even exceed 80 farther inland, in places like Polk County. Lows will only drop into the low 60s.

“It looks like several nice days in a row,” Sobien said.