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  1. Local Weather

Heavy rains here to stay in Tampa Bay as protests continue

Moisture is headed for the bay area from all directions, making for wet afternoons and nights.

It’s going to be a tough night to protest. The bay area will get soaked late Wednesday afternoon and evening and the rains likely won’t let up for the rest of the week.

The chance of rain is “100 percent,” said Spectrum Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay.

“We’ve got tons of tropical moisture coming in from just about every direction," he said. “The east, the south and the west."

The rains should start at about 4 or 5 p.m. and pick up in intensity.

The view from Spectrum Bay News 9's Klystron 9 Interactive Radar. [Spectrum Bay News 9]

Tropical Storm Cristobal has a role in that. It made landfall in Mexico but is driving toward the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm is helping push tropical moisture toward Tampa Bay. The storm is expected to re-enter the Gulf on Friday, raising the risk of storm surge, heavy rains and strong winds from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.

There’s already a flood watch in effect from Pasco to Charlotte County for the next few days. Cristobal isn’t expected to turn toward Florida, but its effects will be felt.

“It will stay well to the west but it may not matter,” Clay said. “It’s just going to be wet here anyway.”

This weather pattern will continue through next week, according to the National Weather Service’s Ruskin bureau. The chance of rain remains high through Wednesday, and each day also has a slight chance of thunderstorms developing. Highs will be in the 80s and while overnight lows dip into the 70s. So this weekend won’t get any better.

There’s also Cristobal to keep an eye on. It is the third named storm of the Atlantic storm season, which started Monday. It was a tropical depression on Monday in the Bay of Campeche in the southwestern Gulf and strengthened into a tropical storm on Tuesday. Cristobal is also the earliest third Atlantic named storm in recorded history.

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