Cold front moving through Bradenton, Tampa Bay

February 21, 2014 

The stretch of beautiful days has come to an end in the Tampa Bay area.

Friday started off with warm temperatures and a breezy south wind, but a cold front is making its way into the area, bringing with it a line of showers and thunderstorms moving east across the Gulf of Mexico.

"A large area of rain and a few embedded thunderstorms continues to move in from the Gulf," Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay said. "These thunderstorms might produce heavy rain and frequent lightning."

Citrus County was the first to feel the effects of the cold front, with rain covering much of the county at 12:45 p.m. Thunderstorm activity started increasing around 1:45 p.m.

For Bradenton on Friday afternoon, there is a 40 percent chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, with high near 77.

Friday night, there is a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 7 p.m. Also, there could be patchy fog after 7 p.m. The low temperature should drop to about 64.

There is a 30 percent chance of rain on Saturday, and 20 percent on Sunday.

Clay said the area of rain should continue to weaken as it moves over central Florida Friday afternoon. However, the showers could linger throughout the weekend.

A wind advisory for the Sunshine Skyway is in effect right now. Wind speeds of between 30 and 34 mph have been reported at the bridge. Officials will close the bridge when winds hit 40 mph.

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