MANATEE -- Those who think St. Patrick's Day should be a raw, wet and windy Irish coast kind of a day will get their wish Monday in Manatee County.
Bay News 9 and the National Weather Service in Ruskin are predicting cloudy skies bringing lots of wind and rain. Up to an inch and a half of rain is expected to fall on St. Patrick's Day.
"Unfortunately, it looks like the winds, showers and storms will start rolling into Bradenton mid-morningish and the chance will continue all day for thunderstorms and strong winds," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik.
Although it won't be too cold on St. Paddy's Day locally -- 69 degrees for a low and mid 70s for a high -- the series of thunderstorms expected to hit in the afternoon ahead of a cold front could bring some severe weather, said John Jelsema, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
"The cloud cover will begin to build starting in the morning," Jelsema said. "It will be pretty breezy at first with wind gusts mostly getting up to 25 to 30 mph but we could see some wind gusts of 60 mph by later in the afternoon. There also could be isolated tornadoes."
"There could be wind damage with these strong winds," Kacmarik said. "Look at Sunday: We had 39 mph winds without any storms."
Clouds cover will have an insulating effect and a lot of lingering moisture will keep the temperature from falling too much, Jelsema said.
"It's looking like a decent soaker for the area," Jelsema added.
The slow-moving front will push through by Monday night.
"The rest of the week will be mostly quieter," Kacmarik said. "We will dry out from Tuesday through Sunday."
By Tuesday, the front will clear off to the east of the state leaving the day filled with scattered cloud cover and lingering showers, Jelsema said.
"Wednesday will be a really nice day across the area," Jelsema added. "It will have very sunny temperatures, well up into the upper 70s with sea breezes. On Thursday we are looking for continuation of mostly sunny skies, pleasant weather and temperatures in the lower 80s. On Friday we are looking for a mostly sunny day and temperatures in the lower 80s as well."
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 on contact him via Twitter@ RichardDymond.