Manatee County under flood watch until Saturday

May 2, 2014 

Updated: 3:45 p.m.

Manatee County and the rest of the Tampa Bay region is under a flash flood watch until Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The watch area includes Sarasota, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

The watch will take effect at 4 p.m., and remain in effect until 4 p.m. Saturday.

A flood watch means that flooding is possible during the next 24 to 36 hours.

Updated: 2:30 p.m.

At 2:10 p.m., National Weather Service radar indicated a thunderstorm capable of producing a funnel cloud 6 miles southeast of Bradenton and moving northeast at 20 mph.

"Funnel clouds can become brief, small but dangerous tornadoes," the Weather Service said.

Also, a flood advisory for northwestern Manatee County, including Bradenton and Palmetto, remains in effect until 3:15 p.m.

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Updated 2 p.m.

A tornado warning for Manatee County issued after a waterspout was spotted near Longboat Key has expired.

At 2 p.m., however, the National Weather Service said funnel clouds will remain possible over the next half hour.

The Weather Service said a trained storm spotter and observer at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport both observed rotation in the waterspout, and that radar indicated the rotation had weakened.

The Weather Service said storms could continue to produce strong gusty winds, heavy rain and small hail until they dissipate.

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