MANATEE -- Manatee and Sarasota counties are expected to have continued warm weather throughout the rest of the week with late night to early morning fog each day, according to the National Weather Service.
"There will be an increasing chance of rain as you move Friday through the weekend," said National Weather Service meteorologist John McMichael. "Otherwise, mainly dry with above normal temperatures."
Early Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Manatee County due to heavy fog, which in certain areas resulted in less than 100 feet of visibility. Troopers urged motorists to seek alternate routes of travel. Shortly before 1 p.m., Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins announced the bridge was reopened to all motorists.
"If the weather is bad, then we may close the bridge again (Wednesday)," Gaskins told the Herald on Tuesday night. "Motorists need to plan their day with some extra travel time, check the live crash reports, call 511, check media reports. ... that's completely up to Mother Nature if we have low visibility like we had today."
NWS meteorologist John McMichael told the Herald that Wednesday's temperatures will be climb into the upper 70s to lower 80s.
"If you're along the coast, you're going to be in the upper 70s, but farther inland you're going to be in the lower 80s," he said, adding there is no chance of rain.
McMichael said Wednesday morning fog will carry over from Tuesday night.
"If you're along the coast, you may have problems mid to late morning because it'll take long to burn off over the water or dissipate," he said of the fog. "There will be fog tomorrow night until Thursday morning. It pretty much looks like there will be more areas of fog developing. ... it could be anywhere."
Temperatures for Thursday and Friday are expected to be in the upper 70s to lower 80s during the day.
"Thursday, there will be a slight chance of a few afternoon thunderstorms," McMichael said, putting the chances at 20 percent.
The meteorologist said Friday morning is poised to be sunny with a "slight chance" of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. McMichael said temps will be in the upper 70s to lower 80s.
"We're looking at better chances for showers and thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday," he said. "It'll be about a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday -- highs in the upper 70s, lows in the 60s."
Each night this week, he said the public should expect temperatures to be mostly in the 60s.
McMichael had a special advisory for the public with regards to the fog.
"If they encounter fog, they need to slow down," he said. "A lot of people just keep speeding along and, next thing you know, they're hitting the person in front of them because their reaction time in fog is going to be much less than it would normally be on a clear day."
The meteorologist also advised the public to leave distance between themselves and the driver in front of them, and to turn on their low-beam headlights -- not high-beam lights.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.