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  1. Local Weather

Forecast: Chilly start leads to weekend warmth across Tampa Bay

Temperatures will return to normal or higher this weekend following a quick shot of cold air.

While much of the country is being rocked by Winter Storm Gia this weekend, a warm front will help push cold air out of the Tampa Bay area Friday, pushing temperatures above normal for a few days.

Freezing rain and snow is expected to blast the country from the Rockies to the East Coast over the next few days as snowbirds rejoice and hold steadfast in their decision to fly south for winter, even if the last few days gave pause.

A cold front that pushed through earlier this week plunged Thursday's daytime high to 60 degrees, seven below normal, while overnight lows flirted with 40 and even dived into the upper 30s inland and toward the Nature Coast. That ends today.

Friday will start chilly, but things will warm to that normal 70 degrees this afternoon under mostly sunny skies. The warmth will grow Saturday and Sunday despite some increased cloud cover. Highs should be near 76 both days with a rain chance of barely 10 percent.

Things, however, could cool again quickly, as another cold front is expected to drop temperatures back into the 60s to start the working week.

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

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Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at Follow @danuscripts.