MAX DEFENDER 8 FORECAST: Tropical flow holding pattern


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — With several broad areas of high pressure stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic and upper-level low pressure situated just off the coast of the big bend, deep tropical moisture from the southern Gulf and the Caribbean continue to pour in from both sides of the state. The frontal boundary system that existed yesterday afternoon to the north has now diminished to a weak trough elongated across central northern Florida. 

This morning, convection built just off the coast of Pinellas County. With the winds mainly westerly for the Gulf Coast, scattered showers and storms slowly developed along our beaches. As the westerly flow slowly subsided and we began to build more of a sea breeze, scattered shower and thunderstorm activity began to develop more inland late this morning and continued throughout the afternoon. We expect the storm threat to remain into the late evening timeframe tonight, finally subsiding after 12:30 a.m. 

The atmospheric setup we saw today will continue into the beginning of our workweek Monday. There is expected to be a slightly drier pattern aloft. However, it is expected to only drop our rain chances by 5% or 10%. We can still expect morning coastal showers and isolated storms and then flip the threat to inland storm activity by late morning or early afternoon with the peak of our storm threat in the evening during the time frame when most people are getting off of work. 

Severe weather is unlikely but instability to the mid-levels is expected just enough to provide energy for some storms to produce heavy downpours and gusty winds. The areas mainly impacted by Saturday’s storm activity further north near the Nature Coast and low line inland areas are subject to localized flooding. Daytime highs depending on the heavy cloud content and shower threat are expected in the upper 80s with feel-like temperatures in the upper 90s. 

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