Know your thunderstorm types
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Manatee and Sarasota counties as well as much of the Tampa Bay area.
The tornado watch is in effect until 4 p.m. Friday. A watch means tornadoes are possible in the area and residents should be prepared to act quickly should a warning be issued.
A severe thunderstorm warning was also issued and is in effect until 3:30 p.m.
A wind advisory is also effect from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday for west and southwest Florida, according to the National Weather Service.
The cold front will move through the area Friday, but before it arrives the National Weather Service is warning of winds ranging from 20 to 30 mph and coastal areas could see winds in the 30- to 40-mph range with potentially higher gusts.
A high surf advisory is also in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday. A coastal flood statement is in effect until 6 p.m. Friday and a rip current statement was issued until 10 a.m. Sunday.
These winds would create hazardous boating conditions.
The Skyway is now closed to traffic due to the weather and high winds.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms, some of which could be severe, are possible Friday morning, before 2 p.m., according to NWS. The chance of showers continues into Friday evening, mostly before 8 p.m.
Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 72, though still breezy with winds between 10 and 18 mph. Gusts could reach as high as 25 mph, according to NWS.
Sunday is also expected to be sunny with a high in the mid-70s. Winds will be calmer, around 5 to 8 mph, meteorologists said.