The weather in the Tampa Bay area this weekend will likely be the chilliest of the new year as a cold front will drop overnight temperatures into the low 40s.
A weak, dry front moved into the area Monday night and will keep air temperatures cool for most of the week. But on Friday, a stronger cold weather system will bring rain to the area, and by Saturday high temperatures will struggle to reach 60 degrees, according to Keily Delerme, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay office.
On Tuesday, the high in Tampa will be 70 degrees, and highs for much of the week will remain in the 70s. Around Thursday night into Friday morning, though, a line of stormy weather could reach Tampa Bay. The storms are making their way east from California, which was experiencing prolonged heavy rain and flash flooding, said Kyle Hanson, a Spectrum Bay News 9 meteorologist, during a Tuesday forecast.
“For us here, the front weakens in terms of the strength of those thunderstorms along the front,” Hanson said. “I think for us it’s rain, maybe a few rumbles of thunder here and there.”
Hanson said the storms look widespread on Friday morning, but by the afternoon they will have passed through the area. Behind the rain is a strong cold front that will usher in the coolest air the area has seen in weeks.
“During the weekend, for the high temperatures on Saturday, most areas will struggle to get to near 60,” Delerme said. “Central and north of that, it’ll mainly be in the 50s for the highs.”
The National Weather Service is predicting Saturday night will be the coldest, when the low temperatures could drop to about 41 in Tampa. In St. Petersburg, near the coast, the low will be warmer, about 44 degrees. And to the north in Pasco County, the low will be about 37 degrees.
The cold front likely won’t be as severe or prolonged as Christmas weekend, when low temperatures dropped near or below freezing for days. Delerme said she doesn’t expect any overnight freezes in our area, though she said it’s possible that areas along the nature coast could see temperatures drop that low.
Sunday will remain chilly with high temperatures in the mid- to low 60s. Lows Sunday night will drop into the high 40s.
By Monday, which is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, forecasters are predicting sunny skies with temperatures warming up to around 70.