The typically favored locations for summertime thunderstorms, east of Interstate 75 and north of Interstate 4, experienced yet another afternoon and evening of strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall on Saturday.
However, other parts of west-central Florida closer to the coast that remained dry on Saturday. In the rain-free locations, the combination of fair to partly cloudy skies, slightly-above average temperatures, and typical mid-summer humidity levels all combined for a warm day for local residents and visitors.
After morning lows that ranged from the middle 70s on the Hillsborough side of Tampa Bay to the lower 80s on the Pinellas side of the bay, highs across the area included 91 degrees in Tampa, 94 degrees in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, and a sultry 96 degrees at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB). When combined with the humidity, heat index values rose up to and over 105 degrees in a few locations around west-central Florida.
More storms likely through mid-week before the drying begins
The thunderstorm coverage in Tampa Bay will average around 70 percent on Sunday, 50 percent Monday and Tuesday, 40 percent on Wednesday, and will finally drop to around 20 percent for Thursday through Saturday.
After morning lows ranging from 75 to 82 degrees, afternoon highs will climb to between 88 and 92 under partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and reach 90 to 95 degrees under partly cloudy skies for Wednesday through Saturday.
Bertha's track will bring the storm east of Florida
As of 8 p.m. Saturday evening, the center of Tropical Storm Bertha was located at latitude 18.9 N, longitude 69.1 W, or about 220 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island in the Bahamas. Maximum sustained winds were 45 miles per hour (mph), with the barometric pressure at 1010 Millibars, or 29.83 inches. Bertha was moving northwest at 22 mph.
However, an unusually deep trough for early August will begin steering the storm well east of Florida by Sunday afternoon. For more information on Bertha and the rest of the tropical Atlantic, please visit the National Hurricane Center's website.