TAMPA — Forecasters predict the coming week will bring another round of heavy April showers across the Tampa Bay region, putting some areas at risk of flooding.
Despite high temperatures, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Ruskin said a stalled cold front over the Tampa Bay region will likely act as an incubator for showers and thunderstorms from Sunday evening through Wednesday afternoon.
Forecasts show widespread storms Monday and Tuesday, dumping two to four inches of rain across central Florida with higher amounts possible in some neighborhoods.
Sunday afternoon, storm predictions were focused on Pasco County north along the coast and north of Interstate 4 inland, said Jennifer Hubbard, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin. A strong thunderstorm was being tracked across Levy County on Sunday afternoon, producing dime-sized hail as it slipped towards the south.
The National Weather Service also issued a riptide warning Sunday afternoon for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota and Manatee counties. The warning, issued just before 11:30 a.m. Sunday, will remain in effect until 5 p.m. Monday.
High temperatures Sunday topped out around 83 across Tampa Bay, Hubbard said. Rain chances will increase throughout the region as the evening progresses.
Boaters were expected to see choppy seas and scattered showers in the Gulf of Mexico, with waves 3 to 4 feet and a westerly wind at 10 to 18 knots.
By Monday morning, heavy rainclouds will likely cover the Tampa Bay region, bringing widespread showers and thunderstorms and a “marginal risk of severe weather and flooding with excessive rainfall,” Hubbard said. The rain chance is greater earlier in the day but remains at around 70 percent through Tuesday.
The lingering rain should bring temperatures down but the air will be moist and muggy, said Spectrum Bay News 9 meteorologist Nick Merianos. High temperatures Monday and Tuesday will likely reach the mid- to upper-70s.
The rain will likely stick around until late Tuesday evening, when storms should gradually begin to decrease in a wave from north to south, Merianos said. And by Wednesday, the front should move to the south followed by a rush of drier air and dropping dew points.
Sunny skies will likely return to the Tampa Bay region by late Wednesday for a “refreshing” end to the week, he said. High temperatures Thursday are expected to be around 80 degrees with lower humidity.
Forecasts show another storm system brewing over central Florida near the end of the week, increasing rain chances yet again for the weekend.
The Weather Service said the storms shouldn’t be quite as scary as last week, when two tornadoes touched down in the Tampa Bay region — one in Bradenton and one in Winter Haven.