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Grab an umbrella, Tampa Bay. High rain chances this weekend

The National Weather Service says showers and storms are likely to sweep across the region, but the heat will stick around.
Rain picks up in the early morning of Hurricane Elsa, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Westchase. No tropical system is expected to strike Tampa Bay this weekend, but rain chances will be as high as 80 percent on Sunday because of a tropical disturbance off Florida's east coast.
Rain picks up in the early morning of Hurricane Elsa, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Westchase. No tropical system is expected to strike Tampa Bay this weekend, but rain chances will be as high as 80 percent on Sunday because of a tropical disturbance off Florida's east coast. [ ARIELLE BADER | Times ]
Published Jul. 23
Updated Jul. 23

Residents here know: Summertime means lots of rain in Tampa Bay.

But this weekend won’t just be the typical afternoon showers that pop up in July. Instead, the National Weather Service says the region will have up to an 80 percent chance of rain on Sunday and Monday, as well as a 60 to 70 percent chance Saturday.

The rain won’t bring much reprieve from the heat, according to the weather service. Instead, there will be a high of 93 on Saturday and a high of 92 Sunday. The lows for both days will be in the upper 70s.

While the high rain chances can sometimes mean heavy showers, Tampa Bay residents do not need to worry about a “washout” this weekend, according to Tony Hurt of the National Weather Service’s Ruskin office.

That’s because this weekend’s rain is stemming from a potential tropical cyclone off Florida’s east coast. With this disturbance swirling in place, Hurt said he expects rain to sweep across Tampa Bay in bands, meaning the chance of storms will take up a majority of the weekend but the rain won’t be constant.

The National Hurricane Center has given the disturbance off Florida’s coast a 30 percent chance of formation over the next two days.

Even if it were to strengthen into Tropical Storm Fred, however, Spectrum Bay News 9 Meteorologist Mike Clay says spaghetti models for the system show it could move any direction. That includes a path across the Sunshine State toward Tampa Bay, while others project the system will head east into the open Atlantic.

For those hoping to head outdoors this weekend, Hurt says it’ll be best to do so Saturday morning. The majority of the day’s showers won’t begin until approximately 2 p.m., he estimated, but will last through the evening.