Manatee-Sarasota weather forecast for Fourth of July

The National Weather Service in Ruskin issued a hazardous weather statement for several coastal Florida counties, including Manatee and Sarasota.

The statement includes warnings about “scattered to numerous” showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening for both counties. Some of the storms could become stronger and produce strong gusts as well as locally heavy rain.

The statement also carries a warning about the deadly lightning strikes that often accompany Florida thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service’s lightning safety page reminds people that no place outside is safe during a thunderstorm and if you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Safe places of refuge during storms include a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.