Enjoy the sunshine and blue skies found in some parts of the Tampa Bay area this afternoon. Forecasters from the National Weather Service’s Ruskin office say they won’t last long.
“We do have a little break, but looking out over the Gulf (there’s) deeper moisture,” said meteorologist Jon Jelsema. “We do expect rainfall to increase.”
Jelsema also said the tornado watch that was set to expire at 2 p.m. Monday has been extended until 11 p.m. It includes Hillsborough, Sarasota, Pasco, Pinellas and Manatee counties, he added. A watch means that conditions are ripe for tornado development. If a probable tornado has been spotted, the weather service will issue a tornado warning. To keep up with warnings throughout the day, visit the weather service's severe weather summary page.
The entire Tampa Bay area also remains in a Tropical Storm Warning zone as Debby continues to hang out just off the west coast of Florida. A tropical storm warning means that "tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours," according to the weather service.
Jelsema said conditions are expected to deteriorate in the Bay area as the afternoon wears on. Heavy showers and squalls are expected through the night.
“These showers or squalls will produce very gusty winds,” he said, adding that some areas have already seen gusts of between 50 and 60 mph.
In the meantime, the National Hurricane Center has updated its forecasted track for Debby. There has been little change since this morning’s update.
Stay with Patch for updates on Tropical Storm Debby as they become available.