Satuday’s forecast for the Children’s Gasparilla Parade is cloudy with, of course, a chance of beads and candy.
Forecasters are predicting a good chance of rain, too, in Tampa late Saturday afternoon, just in time for the start of the parade. Rain chances will be higher north of the area, but there will be about a 40% chance of rain in Tampa, said Nicole Carlisle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay Office.
Carlisle expects mild showers could fall on Saturday afternoon, with little in the way of lightning or thunder.
The rain is part of a front stalled over Tampa Bay that brought cloudy, foggy weather to the area Friday morning. The front will stick around until Saturday, Juli Marquez, a meteorologist for Bay News 9, said in a Friday forecast.
Marquez said rain could begin about 4 p.m., right when the Children’s Parade will begin its path down Bayshore Boulevard.
“They (showers) could be at anytime through the evening, and even into the overnight hours,” Carlisle said. “There’s a boundary that’s kind of sitting on top of us, so it kind of favors rain at almost anytime.”
Despite the cloudy weather, high temperatures will remain in the upper 60s in Tampa on Saturday, and temperatures will drop only slightly into the lower 60s at night.
The G-rated version of the pirate invasion is an all-day event that kicks off the start of the six-week Gasparilla season. The Children’s Gasparilla Parade’s festivities begin at noon with a bicycle rodeo and Gasparilla Air Invasion and will continue until 7 p.m. when a firework show will close out the night.
On Sunday temperatures will warm to the upper 70s with just a slight chance of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
The following Saturday, Jan. 28, is the not-so-G-rated Gasparilla, when more than 300,000 people are expected to line Bayshore. For now, with the forecast still a week out, Carlisle said weather models are showing a cooler, drier day for the parade.