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Carrying 65-mph winds, storm heads north into gulf

Published June 10, 2005

Tampa Bay commuters drove through sheets of rain Friday afternoon as the worst of the weather associated with Tropical Storm Arlene began strafing Florida.

At 5 p.m., the National Weather Service said that Arlene, whose winds had increased to 65 mph, could become a weak hurricane before it reaches land Saturday.

John McMichael, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Ruskin, said Tampa Bay residents can expect a soggy Friday night. The storm is expected to drop up to seven inches of rain on some areas.

Because of heavier than normal rain the first couple of weeks of June, a flood watch remains in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties through Saturday night, when the weather is expected to subside.

By then Arlene, which now is traveling at 17 mph, will have reached the Alabama-Mississippi coast and Florida Panhandle.

[Last modified June 10, 2005, 17:30:04]

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