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Expect Hot Afternoons and Scant Chances for Rain

Any rain that pops up will likely be well east of Interstate 75 and move away from us.

 It might be a good weekend to find someplace shady or partake of frozen margaritas for Cinco de Mayo festivities as distinctly summertime conditions dominate the weather.

That would be summertime without the afternoon thunderstorms to provide some relief.

“It certainly will feel like summer,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Ernie Jillson. “But not as much chance for rain.”

Actually, forecasts call for afternoons in the low 90s over areas away from the coast with temperatures hitting the low 90s, or a few degrees above the normal 90 seen in June through August.

A sea breeze will push off the Gulf of Mexico that will keep New Port Richey and places closer to the coast a few degrees cooler and possibly the high 80s rather than the 90s, Jillson said.

“The farther east you go the hotter it will be,” he said.

While humidity will reach close to summertime ranges at lower levels in the atmosphere where we feel it, high pressure far above us means drier air higher in the atmosphere to squash most storms that try to form.

Forecasters peg rain chances at 20 percent over Pasco and northeastern Hillsborough, but most areas aren’t likely to see much.

Jillson said areas west of Interstate 75 will probably stay dry through the weekend with any storms that pop up emerging farther east over Polk County and even the East Coast. Also, the sea breeze will push most of the storms toward to the Atlantic Ocean side of the state.

The weather service says afternoon highs around Land O’ Lakes should be 91 today, 92 on Saturday and 91 on Sunday.

Temperatures will be stubbornly above the 85 degree high that’s normal for early May.

The morning lows, though should be in the high 60s, only a couple degrees above the typical 67 for this time of year.

The lack of rain will continue the dry trend the area has seen. Though Tampa International Airport registered 2.29 inches of rain in April, 2 inches of that fell on April 21 and 22 and another quarter inch came on April 4.

All of West Central Florida, including Pasco and Hillsborough is considered under an extreme drought condition.

That won’t change soon, Jillson said.

“We need 8 to 10 inches of rain, not all at once but over time, to get rid of the drought,” he said.

The typical summer rainy season with the clockwork afternoon storms doesn’t usually kick in over the central part of Florida until the second week in June.

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