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Forecasters monitoring system in Caribbean as rain persists across Tampa Bay

A thick cloud cover builds over Tampa Bay on May 21, 2018. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
A thick cloud cover builds over Tampa Bay on May 21, 2018. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
Published May 21, 2018

More tropical showers and thunderstorms could be headed to Tampa Bay as a low pressure system that is developing in Western Caribbean waters is expected to track up through the Gulf of Mexico, promising more rain for an already soggy region.

Much like the last low pressure system that continues to pester the area with thunderstorms, this one has the potential to develop tropical conditions over Gulf waters, according to the National Weather Service.

The system has a 20 percent chance for development in the next five days, forecasters said. But even if it doesn't, it is expected to produce heavy rainfall over southern Florida as it makes its way toward Tampa Bay in the second half of the week.

RELATED: Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

Sunday's prevalent showers dumped more than an inch of rain across the Tampa Bay area and resulted in the weather service issuing a flood warning for the Alafia River in Lithia.

The river reached flood stage at 13 feet on Sunday night, and the river is expected to continue rising to near 13½ feet by Tuesday afternoon, forecasters said. Minor flooding has already occurred and more flooding is expected as rain continues into the week.

Forecasters also issued a flood warning for the Manatee River near Myakka Head. The river reached flood stage at 11 feet on Sunday night and is expected to rise to near 13 feet by Tuesday morning, forecasters said.

Scattered morning showers may spark up around the bay area to start the workweek, but the majority of rain won't appear until the afternoon heat bears down, forecasters said. Afternoon highs will reach the low to mid 80s with a tropical coastal breeze sparking more rain.

EXTENDED FORECAST: The 10-day outlook for the Tampa Bay area

For those heading out to tonight's Lightning watch party in downtown Tampa at 6 p.m. should plan for rain. The chance of storms will start at 70 percent and ease closer to game time.

Forecasters say an extra two inches of rain could fall by Tuesday afternoon with temperatures remaining in the low 80s by the afternoon.

As one tropical low pressure system meanders north another appears to be on its way, folks should continue to expect tropical showers throughout the week and into the Memorial Day weekend.

830 AM: A Special Tropical Weather Outlook has been issued. Some
gradual development is possible late this week of a system moving into the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico. Locally heavy rainfall is the main threat across western Cuba & Florida during the next several days.


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