May 20, 2009

Late morning sun will not last - more rain on the way

TAMPA - Some sun could start poking through the low clouds this morning, but don't expect it to last long, forecasters say.

Clouds should start building by the late morning and showers and possibly thunderstorms may begin making another appearance, the National Weather Service says.

Forecasters expect quite a bit of rain today, which would be no change from the past two days this week,

Most of the rain will be in showers, but there could be a few thunderstorms that appear, especially in areas with less cloud cover. And some of those thunderstorms may get strong enough to produce hail, the weather service says.

Even though there is dry air at the upper levels of the atmosphere, there is so much moisture down where we walk around that the dry air won't be able to squelch the storms.

By dark, things should calm down a bit, especially the thunderstorm activity.

A pair of low pressure areas that have drifted slightly west of the state are causing the protracted stretch of rainy days. Circulation around the lows is hauling plenty of moisture from the east to fuel the storms.

The rain will begin to taper off as the low pressure areas move farther into the Gulf.

That should happen around Sunday, as we see a decrease in the amount of rain and a normal May pattern of hot and dry with only a 20 percent chance for rain should return by Monday.

Rainfall on Tuesday was generous and covered most of West Central Florida. Each of the 12 measuring stations in Hillsborough County operated by the Southwest Florida Water Management District got at least a half inch of rain and Balm and Lake Medard received more than an inch.

Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco have received more rain than normal for so far this month, according to the water management weather stations. Hernando County with 7.65 inches has gotten twice the normal amount of rain for this point in the month.

By Neil Johnson - The Tampa Tribune May 20, 2009

Reporter Neil Johnson can be reached at (813) 259-7731.

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