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Rain expected to clear out ahead of Lightning watch parties Wednesday and Friday

Wednesday and Friday will be full of rain, just not during game time, according to the National Weather Service.
Tampa Bay Lightning fans settle into their folding chairs for the watch party in Thunder Alley before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinals of Friday, June 25, 2021, at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Tampa Bay Lightning fans settle into their folding chairs for the watch party in Thunder Alley before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinals of Friday, June 25, 2021, at Amalie Arena in Tampa. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jun. 30

TAMPA — Lightning has been prevalent in the sky and on the ice in Tampa this week, but thunderstorms are not expected to put a damper on Stanley Cup final outdoor watch parties.

As the Tampa Bay Lightning enter the home stretch of their second championship run in a row, Bolts fans throughout the region are descending upon downtown Tampa for watch parties. The past two, last Friday and on Monday, were threatened by showers that lingered into the evening.

Those headed downtown for Wednesday night’s game can safely leave their umbrellas at home. Richard Rude of the National Weather Service’s Ruskin office says that Wednesday’s storms will be gone in time for the 8 p.m. puck drop.

You may still see a shower or two if you head downtown early though, Rude said, as he expects storms will stick around until roughly 7 p.m.

The Bolts’ next watch party, at the same time Friday night, is expected to have similar conditions — despite there being a 60 percent chance of showers in the afternoon. That’s because Friday’s storms will come from the Gulf Coast in the morning and move across the state, Rude said, leaving Hillsborough and Pinellas counties dry in time for the game.

Those looking to snag a ticket to a watch party at Thunder Alley or in the Cigar City Taproom for watch parties during home games can find tickets online here. The Lightning will play in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final at home Wednesday night and will play Game 3 in Montreal on Friday.