TAMPA, FL — While Thursday’s cold front delivered cooler, sunny conditions to the Tampa Bay area as forecasters promised, the news isn’t entirely good for the weekend ahead. According to the National Weather Service, strong, gusty winds are expected to create hazardous conditions on some local waters while those winds blending with drier air have elevated the fire risk parts of the region.
A red flag warning has been issued for some Tampa Bay area counties, including Hillsborough and Polk. That warning means that “critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly,” the agency wrote in its alert. The warning is expected to last until Friday evening with humidity levels expected to persist at less than 35 percent through much of the day.
Small boat operators are also being warned that conditions on coastal waters and local lakes could be perilous. A lake wind advisory has been issued for the entire Tampa Bay area through Friday evening. Forecasters are anticipating frequent gusts of more than 20 mph to make conditions unfavorable on lakes throughout Sarasota, Pasco, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties.
In the coastal areas, forecasters are expecting wind speeds of up to 25 knots and seas building to as much as 8 feet offshore. “This will create hazardous boating conditions for small craft operators,” the weather service warned. Unfavorable conditions in coastal areas are expected to last through Sunday evening.
Fire and wind warnings aside, the Tampa Bay area is in for a mild weekend. Forecasters expect mostly sunny conditions throughout the day Friday with a high only in the mid-70s. The overnight low is expected to drop to about 50 degrees in much of the Bay area.
Saturday is expected to kick off with sunny, but breezy conditions. The day’s high should reach about 75 degrees in much of the region. Partly cloudy skies are forecast for the overnight hours Saturday when the low should drop to the mid-50s.
Sunday will bring breezy, but sunny conditions and a high in the upper 70s, forecasters say. The overnight low should drop into the upper-50s with partly cloudy skies expected.
Rain doesn’t play a significant role in the forecast for the Tampa Bay area until later in the workweek.
For an extended forecast in your neighborhood, visit your local Patch’s homepage.
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