Dry spell about to break. Summer rains are returning to Bradenton

The summer rainy season has officially arrived.

But rain chances will be even higher in Manatee County this weekend and going into next week thanks to a tropical low, followed by a cold front that will move into the area.

Beginning Friday, Manatee County has a 60 percent chance of rain.

The tropical low that moved off the Gulf Mexico near Texas and onto land is spreading lots of moisture over much of the southeastern U.S., according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure. That same tropical moisture will be begin moving into the Tampa Bay area on Friday, causing the increased call for thunderstorms.

Parts of Texas and Louisiana are seeing heavy rain and flash floods as a result of that system, according to the National Weather Service. The chances of that system producing similar conditions in the Tampa Bay area are marginal.

The weekend won’t be a total washout, McClure explained.

“When we say 60 percent, that does not mean that 60 percent of the day it will rain,” McClure said. “That means, 60 percent of the area will see measurable rain. But very rarely does it rain all day this time of year.”

The increased rain in the forecast is predicted to keep high temperatures in Manatee County at about 89 to 90 degrees, compared to the mid-90’s that have been seen in recent days.

The average temperature in Bradenton last month was 80.7 degrees, which was 4.3 degrees above average, according to McClure. The average rainfall in Bradenton last month was 1.78 inches, which was 0.43 inches below average.

The Tampa Bay area typically experiences a drier March, April and first half of May, bringing an elevated threat of wildfires. But instead, the area saw cool and wet conditions this year.

Manatee County has only seen minor brush fires in recent weeks. On Wednesday, a minor brush fire briefly broke out alongside Interstate 75 near State Road 64.

But the arrival of typical wet summer pattern in the last few days, has not eliminated the risk for fires.

“Typically speaking when the rainy season begins, you are not out of the woods yet,” McClure said.

There will still be some risks for fires to be started by lightning strikes with conditions in the area still being dry.

Rain chances will stay high on Monday and Tuesday, as a strong cold front is predicted to make its way down from Canada.

“It will obviously not cool us down, but it will make it all the way down into our area,” McClure said.

About two-thirds of the eastern U.S., however, may see record lows for June.