Forecasters continue to monitor an area of disturbed weather associated with a cold front in the northern Gulf of Mexico that may have a minimal chance of forming into a tropical system but will could produce heavy rainfall and potential flooding across the Tampa Bay area.
The area of low pressure was disorganized Wednesday morning as it drifts across the northern gulf, according to the National Hurricane Center. It could take on tropical characteristics later this week, as forecasters give it a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical system in the next 2-5 days.
The cold front, however, is forecast to bring increased rain chances across North Florida and into Tampa Bay, according to the National Weather Service.
The front, along with increased moisture in the air thanks to southwesterly winds off the gulf, will produce a higher chance of early-morning showers and thunderstorms that will move onshore and inland through Friday – especially along the Nature Coast. Flood-prone areas should be wary as the heavy rains move through the region, forecasters said.
As winds shift from the east and southeast early next week, the region will see the return of mainly afternoon and evening storm chances as rain develops inland and moves toward the west coast, forecasters said.