More welcome dry season rainfall moved through west-central Florida on Monday, and lingered into Tuesday morning across the area. Precipitation amounts included Tampa 0.62”, St. Petersburg 1.18”, Clearwater 1.27”, and MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) with 1.29” of rain. Clouds kept conditions rather cool on Monday, as highs hovered around the 70 degree mark in and around Tampa Bay. However, the cloud cover also prevented temperatures from falling far in the overnight and early morning hours, as Tuesday morning lows started off in the middle 60s.
However, the frontal boundary that brought the much-needed rainfall across Tampa Bay on Tuesday morning will bring clearing and rather breezy conditions to west-central Florida through the afternoon. The Tampa Bay Area National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Lake Wind Advisory, with sustained winds at or above 20 miles per hour (mph), and gusts at or over 30 mph.
Beach and boating conditions less than ideal through Wednesday
The gusty winds will also increase wave heights, so the local NWS has also issued a High Surf Advisory for waves of four to six feet on Tuesday and from five to seven feet on Wednesday. The combination of relatively breezy weather and high surf also led the NWS to issue a Small Craft Advisory for near and off shore waters. Individuals headed to the beach should take precautions entering the water, as the threat of rip currents is elevated for Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico waters through Wednesday.
Temperatures temporarily cool down for Tampa Bay
Also behind the front, residents and vacationers should prepare for unseasonably cold temperatures across west central Florida for Wednesday morning. Lows across the coastal areas of Tampa Bay will drop to between 45 and 52 degrees, but locations to the north and further inland will drop to between 40 and 45 degrees. Everyone should remember to bring a jacket as they leave for work or school Wednesday morning.
Forecast for Wednesday through Tuesday
After the colder-than-average conditions across west central Florida on Wednesday morning, temperatures will remain quite cool on Wednesday afternoon. Despite nearly full sunshine, the air mass will limit highs to the middle and upper 60s in and around Tampa Bay. Wednesday night and Thursday morning temperatures will be a bit milder, as lows drop to between 52 and 58 degrees across the area. Highs on Thursday will rise back to average readings for late March, with temperatures reaching the middle and upper 70s by the afternoon under partly cloudy skies. Rainfall coverage will stay below 10 percent on Wednesday, and average around 20 percent on Thursday.
Wetter weather expected as the week ends
The chances of precipitation across west central Florida will increase Thursday night. A combination of the warmer and more humid air mass and increasing atmospheric instability across the Florida Peninsula will enhance the development of showers and thunderstorms through Saturday. Precipitation coverage will range between 70 and 80 percent between Thursday night and Saturday. Morning lows will drop to between 62 and 68 degrees through the period, and afternoon highs will rise to between 75 and 80 degrees under cloudy skies.
Links to additional forecast information for west central Florida
For further weather forecast details for areas around Tampa Bay and the rest of west central Florida, please visit the local National Weather Service website, the Storm Team 8 Facebook page, and Meteorologist Denis Phillips Facebook page.