Just when you think winter was leaving for good it comes back with a cold snap to remind us that Mother Nature is the boss. Tampa Bay is about to get what may or may not be the last cold breath of winter during the upcoming weekend. National Weather Service forecaster Jon Jelsema says the jet stream is taking a sharp dive out of Canada to the south. “It's bringing with it a lot of cold air. That's going to bring a noticeably cooler air mass to west central and southwest Florida over the upcoming weekend.”
While showers and sharply lower temperatures are part of the mix Jelsema laughed off a speculative article from a commercial forecasting service that posed the question of whether Tampa might get snowed on this weekend. “There's a zero percent chance of snowfall in the Tampa area.” Jelsema says we can expect Saturday's high to only reach into the mid 60s with lows in the lower 40s around Tampa and upper 30s around Lakeland. The high on Sunday may only reach the 60 degree mark in most areas. The cold northwesterly winds blowing over the relatively warm Gulf of Mexico will bring a lot of cloud cover and a 40 chance of scattered showers on Saturday. The seven-day forecast calls for an overnight low on Sunday in the 30s.
The four-day forecast from Pollen.com holds a chance of slight relief to allergy sufferers. With Thursday and Friday pollen levels reaching into the bright red “high” zone, the weekend levels should drop into the dark yellow “medium-high” range with juniper, oak and nettle causing the biggest problems.
As a footnote, Jelsema assured Examiner that whatever the impact of the federal budget if sequester happens, the weather office will stay open and continue to provide its vital information.