1. Local Weather

Warmer weather coming before a rainy New Year’s Eve and a cold start to 2021

Forecasts showed another cool night across the Tampa Bay region on Sunday, but milder, with lows near 51 degrees.

After two nights of freezing temperatures, the Tampa Bay area was expected to thaw out Sunday evening, meteorologists in the National Weather Service’s Ruskin office said.

Some communities in Citrus and Hernando counties awoke Sunday to a second day of temperatures in the 20s. By midday, though, the air was expected to warm up, with few clouds to block out sunny skies, senior meteorologist Jennifer Hubbard said.

By 10 a.m. Sunday, temperatures in Tampa had climbed from the low 30s to about 46 with light northeast to east winds and a high of about 65. Seas were expected to be two to three feet at most on Sunday and water temperatures hovered around 60.

Forecasts showed another cool night across the region Sunday, but milder, with lows near 51 degrees.

According to Hubbard’s latest forecast for the Tampa Bay region, temperatures were on track to continue climbing into the high 70s through the end of the week. Monday’s afternoon high is back above average, at about 73, and some forecasts for Thursday — New Year’s Eve — showed temperatures nearing the low 80s.

Those conditions likely won’t stick around for the new year, though, Hubbard said.

“The next cold front is due to arrive sometime on Friday and stall across the area into Saturday,” Hubbard said. “Models have some disagreement with the timing and strength of this next frontal system, though, so we’ll be continuing to monitor it’s development.”

Showers and thunderstorms could come as early as Thursday night into New Year’s Day, according to the National Weather Service.

The first week of 2021 looks to be another cold one but not quite as bone-chilling. Highs could dip back into the 60s by next weekend.