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A weekend cold front won’t bring fall temps to Tampa Bay just yet

A cold front is expected to cool much of the southeast down this weekend. It will stall just before reaching Tampa Bay.
A pedestrian stops to take a picture of the sunset while walking along Edgewater Drive Friday, Aug. 17, 2021 in Dunedin.
A pedestrian stops to take a picture of the sunset while walking along Edgewater Drive Friday, Aug. 17, 2021 in Dunedin. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Sep. 21

Living in Tampa Bay has its perks.

We have beaches, sports championships and hundreds of great restaurants. If there is one area where we fall short it’s this: We’re usually among the last regions in the country to experience fall temperatures.

That’s looking to be the case again this year.

A cold front is expected to sweep the southeast United States this week but not reach Tampa Bay, according to Paul Close of the National Weather Service’s Ruskin Office. The result: We’ll still have highs close to 90 this weekend, with lows in the mid-to-lower 70s.

The same cold front is forecast to drop temperatures in Atlanta and Alabama to as low as 55 this weekend with highs in the mid-70s, while Tallahassee and other parts of North Florida are expected to drop as low as 63, Close said.

The cold front does bring some good news for Tampa Bay: The front is expected to diminish rain chances by the weekend and bring drier air to the region.

“It may not be much colder, but those who live here will be able to feel a big difference in the air,” Close said. “It won’t feel like the humidity of summer.”

The rest of the Southeast will start experiencing lower temperatures around Thursday, Close said. That’s when the air will begin to dry out in Tampa Bay, too, but rain chances won’t drop significantly until Sunday.

The forecast for the weekend includes a 30 percent chance of rain Saturday, a 20 percent chance Sunday and a 10 percent chance Monday, according to Spectrum Bay News 9. Before that, there will be between a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain Tuesday through Friday.

Bay News 9 projects the coolest day of the next week will come Monday, with a high of 87 and a low of 72.

Close says Tampa Bay is most likely to get its first glimpse of fall temperatures — with consistent lows in the 60s — sometime in October. Until then, we’ll have to settle for drier air.