Rain Coming to Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay area faces heavy rains and windy weather beginning Monday because of a strengthening system off the coast of Mexico, according to meteorologists.

The large low pressure system off the Yucatan Peninsula is becoming better defined an now has a 60 percent chance of developing into Rina, the 17th named storm of the year, according to the National Hurricane Center. The system was producing tropical storm strength winds in the Yucatan Channel, over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and the western Florida Straits.

The chances of the system coming to the bay area as a tropical storm this week remained even more uncertain.

What is certain: Lots of rain.

Large amounts of moisture will move north over the state, arriving in the Tampa Bay area early this afternoon, according to John McMichael, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The region could see 2 to 4 inches, strong gusty winds and high seas, he said. Winds were forecast to be 20 to 25 knots over the water and about 15 to 20 miles per hour over land.

We’re looking at a tremendous amount of moisture working its way northward,” McMichael said.

Weather prediction is a 40 percent chance of rain Monday. Rain chances jump to 90 percent on Tuesday before dropping to 60 percent on Wednesday.

St. Petersburg Times