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    Don't put umbrella away yet

    Storms drop buckets of rain on many parts of the bay area Saturday.

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published July 14, 2002


    Heavy thunderstorms Saturday morning dropped as much as 2 inches of rain on parts of the Tampa Bay area, but forecasters say the chances of more rain will decrease over the next couple of days.

    A huge low-pressure system spun out of the Gulf of Mexico and moved across Florida on Saturday, bringing stormy weather. Tampa International Airport recorded 2.17 inches of rain Saturday morning. Meteorologists received reports of about 1.5 inches of rain in Clearwater, 1.2 inches in Spring Hill and .65 inches in St. Petersburg.

    Heavy thunderstorms are not expected today, but forecasters cannot rule out the possibility of scattered showers along Florida's West Coast this morning, moving inland by this afternoon.

    Forecasters predict a 40 percent chance of rain today and a 30 percent chance Monday. The odds of rain each day should stay at about 40 percent for most of the next week, increasing to about 50 percent by next weekend, according to the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

    This has been a particularly wet rainy season. Parts of Pinellas County, for instance, have recorded 8 to 10 inches of rain over the past week.

    So far this year, the Tampa Bay region has received more than 25 inches of rain. Normally, this region receives an average of about 20 inches of rain by mid-July each year.

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