Tampa Bay residents need to watch Hurricane Rina closely as the week progresses. As of early Tuesday evening, Hurricane Rina had winds of 110 miles per hour (mph), just under the threshold for Major Hurricane status. While the system is currently moving westward, Rina is expected to make an almost 180 degree turn by the weekend. First, it should shift to the northwest by early Wednesday morning; then it will continue to turn more northerly. This will take the storm just off of the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, probably impacting Cancun and Cozumel sometime Thursday. Late Thursday or early Friday, Rina will begin to turn to the Northeast. The big question is how far north the system will progress before the approaching cold front moving towards Central Florida affects its movement. The center of the projected paths of uncertainty moves Rina between the Florida Keys and Cuba on Sunday. However, areas from the southern tip of Tampa Bay and southward along the west coast of Florida are in the cone of uncertainty. Therefore, keep informed throughout the week for the latest developments. The National Hurricane Center website is: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov, the AccuWeather Hurricane Center website is: http://hurricane.accuweather.com/hurricane/index.asp, and Storm Central’s website is: http://stormcentral1st.com.
Tuesday around Tampa Bay
The skies in and around Tampa Bay remained fair to partly cloudy throughout the day on Tuesday. Morning lows varied widely, ranging from 53 at MacDill to 64 in St. Petersburg. By afternoon, temperatures were right around the 80 degree mark. Dew points were five to ten degrees higher than Monday afternoon, which was a sign of the slowly increasing moisture levels moving back into the area. Once again, no rainfall was reported anywhere close to Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Wednesday and Thursday
The slow increase in moisture levels is expected to continue over the next two days in and around Tampa Bay. Skies for Wednesday are expected to be partly cloudy, and the possibility of an isolated stray shower cannot be ruled out (coverage should be under 10%). After morning lows of 60-65, afternoon highs should reach 82-87. By Thursday, rain coverage will rise to around 30%. After morning lows of 62-67, afternoon highs will be 82-87 under partly to mostly cloudy skies. For more detailed local weather information, visit the local National Weather Service website at: http://srh.noaa.gov/tbw/, and the Storm Team 8 Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/StormTeam8WFLA.