This week started blazing hot and fairly dry, but forecasters say it could end on a cooler note as much higher rain chances arrive in the Tampa Bay area starting Thursday.
Rounds of showers and some thunderstorms are likely to begin Thursday night and continue until Saturday, according to Paul Close, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay office.
Close described the next few days in a few words: cloudy, muggy, warm and humid.
“It’s definitely setting up to be ... kind of a lot of clouds, off and on rain, maybe some thunderstorms mixed in,” Close said.
According to Close, a low-pressure area near Louisiana will bring tropical moisture into Florida, leading to clouds and plenty of rain.
Storms may not be all day, Close said, but likely all of Tampa Bay will get wet.
Spectrum Bay News 9 is predicting an 80% chance of rain on Friday and a 70% chance on Thursday and Saturday.
Storms could result in strong wind gusts and minor flooding in low-lying areas. However, Close said the heaviest rain will be more toward the Florida Panhandle. There is a potential for the storms to shift more toward Tampa Bay, Close said. In that case, rain could be heavier.
Close said because of the clouds and showers, the highs in Tampa Bay will only be in the 80s, but the overnight lows will remain in the 70s. However, once the storms pass through, the highs will shoot back up into the 90s, Close said.
Typically, the Tampa Bay area will see its first cool down in October, and November is when the humidity and heat will dissipate.