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Tornado watches canceled for Tampa Bay

The region has a 20 percent chance of rain until 2 a.m., with cool, cloudy weather expected in the early morning hours.
A screen grab of the weather forecast for Thursday night.
A screen grab of the weather forecast for Thursday night. [ Courtesy of the National Weather Service ]
Published Oct. 28
Updated Oct. 29

Click here to read this story in Spanish.

After a day of stormy weather that saw tornado warnings and watches issued for much of the area, the storms are moving out of Tampa Bay, according to the National Weather Service.

A tornado watch for Tampa Bay was allowed to expire at 5 p.m. Thursday. There is a 20 percent chance of rain through 2 a.m., the Weather Service says, and the skies are expected to partially clear, with temperatures dipping down to a low of 69 degrees. Southwest winds are expected to range between 11-14 mph, with gusts up to 18 mph.

A high surf advisory remains in place until 11 p.m. Saturday, and there is a high rip current risk until 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Weather Service had issued a tornado watch for all of Tampa Bay on Thursday morning as strong storms were expected to enter the region. The watch was upgraded in the afternoon to a tornado warning for a portion of South Tampa near Macdill Airforce Base after a waterspout formed in the bay. The warning was canceled at 1:30 p.m.

The watch was allowed to expire at 5 p.m., according to the Weather Service. A tornado watch still is in effect for much of Central Florida and extends out to the Gulf coast in Lee County and along the east coast from Brevard County to Indian River County.

A tornado watch means conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form in the area so people should find a place to shelter if conditions deteriorate. A tornado warning is issued when a potential twister has been detected or reported.

Related: Tornado guide for Floridians: What to do when you see a watch or warning

The storms came ahead of the region’s first significant cold front of the year, which is expected to drop temperatures into the upper 50s in parts of Tampa Bay from Thursday through Tuesday of next week.

There will be a 30 percent chance of rain Friday and a 20 percent chance Saturday. Halloween is expected to be rain-free with a high of 76 and a low of 58.

Related: Will hurricane season end with a whimper? Watch La Niña, scientists warn.