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Forecast: Dorian's Bands Could Produce Gusty Showers Across Tampa Bay

The sun starts to peek over Old Tampa Bay at Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA
The sun starts to peek over Old Tampa Bay at Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

The Tampa Bay area can expect a few subtle reminders this week that a major hurricane is threatening to produce potentially catastrophic conditions along the east coast.

This means the region can experience periods of scattered to numerous gusty showers and thunderstorms to start the week, with an increase in winds by Wednesday as Dorian makes its expected turn to the north.

RELATED STORY: Dorian At A Virtual Standstill, Looms Off Florida Coast As A Category 5

Polk and Highlands counties remain under a tropical storm warning. Forecasters with the National Weather Service warn Highlands and portions of eastern Polk today can expect to see winds of 10-20 mph – with gusts up to 30 mph – but tropical storm-force winds of 58-73 mph by Wednesday.

Forecasters say this could produce widespread power outages, flooding, debris that could make roads unpassable, and damage to mobile homes.

WEATHER: Storm track, hourly outlooks, 7-day forecasts and weather alerts

At least 1-3 inches of rain are forecast, with potentially higher isolated totals.

That rain, forecasters say, could produce river flooding and prompt evacuations in areas where the waters could quickly rise. Flood warnings have already been issued for the Withlacoochee River at Holder and the Peace River at Bartow, both of which remain at flood stage due to recent rains.
Conditions will be a bit more normal along the west coast, forecasters said.

ALERTS: Download the Florida Storms app to get severe weather notifications

Some of Dorian’s outer bands could produce scattered to numerous gusty showers and thunderstorms today and Tuesday, with breezy winds from the north and highs just above 90. There is a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today and 70 percent on Tuesday, with highs just above 90. Some interior portions of west-central and southwest Florida could experience tropical storm-force winds.
 
Winds will shift from the west and remain breezy on Wednesday as Dorian moves north, keeping rain chances at 40 percent before a dry air moves into the region, resulting in a mostly clear weekend with a limited chance for isolated showers, forecasters said.