May 28, 2009

Expect afternoon, evening rain over next few days

TAMPA-There should be a couple of more days of afternoon and evening rains ahead before things dry out a bit by Sunday or early next week.

Forecasters say the rain chances should drop slightly each day through Saturday, but there's still enough moisture around to fire up storms and showers in the afternoons and evenings.

Also this morning, some rain and storms could appear near the coast by the middle of the morning.

A front is supposed to work its way through the state Saturday night that will bring in some dry air that could linger until around Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says this should bring us some nights that are mostly clear and days with some thunderstorms, but mostly just partly cloudy skies.

Temperatures will also ratchet up without afternoon rain and clouds to keep things cooler.

There still will be some chances for thunderstorms Monday through Wednesday to form along the sea breeze line – usually around Interstate 75.

Until we get to those warmer, drier afternoons, the next couple of days are expected to be pretty close to what we've seen, though maybe with a bit less rain.

The weather service says large hail is possible today, and small hail could appear in any of the thunderstorms that pop up in during afternoons on the following days.

Rainfall on Wednesday wasn't as abundant or widespread as we saw earlier in the week, but a few places, such as Dade City and the Green Swamp, got from a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch. Davenport in eastern Polk County got close to an inch.

Rainfall totals in the Green Swamp have topped 13 inches, which is one reason flows in the Hillsborough River have increased enough to let the Tampa City Council consider lifting the city's ban on lawn sprinklers.

The Green Swamp is the source for the Hillsborough and three other rivers.

Brooksville remains the rainfall leader for West Central Florida with 15.84 inches.

By NEIL JOHNSON | The Tampa Tribune

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