July cold front, high pressure to south could dump lot of rain on Tampa Bay

July 16, 2014 

Storms clouds moved across Riverview yesterday, but they couldn't obscure a rainbow. A lot more rain is expected today and tomorrow, thanks to a cold front. (Courtesy: Kristina Chacon)

ST. PETERSBURG -- Some parts of the Tampa Bay area received more than two inches of rain Tuesday, but that was just the start.

For the next couple of days, it's going to be really rainy.

The expected showers and thunderstorms will be generated by - of all things - a cold front coming in from the north and high pressure to the south. The front dropping down Georgia and Alabama and will stall over north Florida. Rain ahead of the front will be carried inland from the Gulf of Mexico by a southwest to west wind, according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.

Some areas will get more rain than others, but the rain coverage will be widespread. There's an 80 percent chance of rain today and 60 percent chance tomorrow.

"Once we see those showers and storms come in from the gulf this morning, we’re going to be looking at 'anytime' showers and storms," Marquez said. "That means some of us could have rain at 5 o'clock, some of us at 10 o'clock."

As usual, Marquez said, some of the storms could pack frequent lightning and high winds.

Most parts of Bay News 9's seven-county viewing area got at least some rain yesterday. Tampa International Airport and Wesley Chapel received nearly 2 1/2 inches. Clearwater had 1 1/2 inches and one part of northeast Manatee County more than four inches, according to radar estimates.

"Today and tomorrow, there could be another two, maybe three inches or rain for parts of Tampa Bay," Marquez said.

The cold front won't drop far enough south to impact temperatures, but the rain itself will keep the afternoon highs in the 80s. When dry air returns Friday, the highs will soar back into the low 90s, Marquez said.

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