Severe Storms, Chilly Weather To Cause Disruptions In Tampa Bay This Weekend

Before winter jackets give way to wet season raincoats, you’ll likely need both this weekend in Tampa Bay.

A significant cold front is headed toward the region that will drop temperatures as low as the upper 30s Saturday, said John McMichael of the National Weather Service. But ahead of the cold will come buckets of rain.

McMichael said there is a strong likelihood of severe thunderstorms Friday night through Saturday morning in Tampa Bay, particularly in Hernando and Pasco counties. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if an isolated water spout or tornado touched down somewhere in the region.

Rainfall is more certain. Spectrum Bay News 9′s forecast puts the chance of rain at 80 percent for the region Saturday.

The bad weather is taking a toll even before it arrives. The city of Tampa announced Wednesday it is postponing the River O’ Green St. Patrick’s Day celebration, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, by a day. The annual event at Curtis Hixon Park will be held Sunday when conditions are expected to be more pleasant. Bay News 9 predicts no rain Sunday, with sunny skies and a high of 66 at mid-day.

More details about the change were expected to be released later Wednesday.

Things aren’t looking good for St. Patrick’s Day festivities on the other side of the bay, either. St. Petersburg decided Wednesday afternoon it would cancel its Shamrock Fest at the Pier, scheduled for Saturday. Ticket buyers will be offered a full refund or they can swap them for tickets to a Cinco De Mayo celebration April 30.

Sunday’s pleasant weather will continue into the start of the next week. Monday will have a high of 77 and a low in the upper 40s, Bay News 9 said, with no chance of rain.

Enjoy the weather Sunday and Monday while you can, McMichael said. This late in the season, there’s no telling when the region’s last significant cold front of the season will pass through.

“March is always a tricky month to forecast because it is a transition month,” he said. “But if I had to guess, this will be the last truly cold weather we’ll feel this season. It’s going to be feeling a lot like summer soon.”

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