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Afternoon showers expected to drench Tampa Bay this weekend

Organizers canceled a Cinco de Mayo-themed party at the St. Petersburg Pier in anticipation of the rain.
Rainy conditions are expected throughout the weekend in Tampa Bay, much like in this Times photo from September.
Rainy conditions are expected throughout the weekend in Tampa Bay, much like in this Times photo from September. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Published Apr. 29|Updated Apr. 29

This weekend will feel a lot like summer in the Tampa Bay area.

Showers are expected to drench the region Saturday and Sunday afternoon, said Ross Giarratana of the National Weather Service’s Ruskin office. Highs will be in the high 80s each day.

The rain chance for Saturday is 60 percent, Giarratana said, with slightly lower rain chances expected on Sunday. He said there is no threat of severe weather but some areas could record more than an inch of rain.

This forecast has already spoiled plans for some events scheduled this weekend.

Related: Tampa Bay events scheduled for this weekend

A Cinco de Mayo-themed party slated for Saturday at the St. Petersburg Pier was canceled “due to expected weather.” Tampa police also called off a gun violence awareness festival scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Ybor City.

Other events, such as the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, will continue even if rain begins to fall, pausing only if lightning strikes nearby, organizers said Friday. The races begin early each morning, however, and should finish before the rain reaches Tampa Bay.

Oliver Farmer of Fort Myers attacks the 5.4-mile bike leg of the St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg during the 2019 edition of the race. Farmer also swam 200 yards and ran a mile for a total time of 51 minutes, 4 seconds to finish 23rd in his 11-year-old boy's group.
Oliver Farmer of Fort Myers attacks the 5.4-mile bike leg of the St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg during the 2019 edition of the race. Farmer also swam 200 yards and ran a mile for a total time of 51 minutes, 4 seconds to finish 23rd in his 11-year-old boy's group.

Heavy rain isn’t common this time of year, making the weekend’s wet weather a bit unique, Giarratana said. May averages just 2.6 inches of rain — largely in the second half of the month — while June records an average of 7.37 inches. April averages just 2.03 inches of rain, making it the second driest month behind November.

It won’t be the rain alone that will make this weekend feel like summer. It’s when the rain is expected: in the early afternoon, arriving along the sea breeze boundary. This is the same way afternoon showers reach Tampa Bay almost daily from June through August.

While seven-day forecasts say rain will be sticking around through next week, Giarratana says the afternoon showers aren’t here for good quite yet this year. We’ll still have plenty of dry afternoons before those showers become a daily occurrence.

Next week’s forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday with a high near 88. Wednesday and Thursday will be similar, with a high of 90 and a 20 percent chance of rain.

“This is very much what we would see in the summer,” Giarratana said. " But we’re not going to have this every single day.”

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