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Rain to set stage for cold front

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 2, 2001

The Tampa Bay area has enjoyed weeks of warmth and sunshine, but change is on the way.

A fast-moving line of rain clouds should sweep through late Saturday night and early Sunday, followed by colder weather beginning Monday.

"The rain probably won't last all that long," said National Weather Service meteorologist Ron Morales. "It probably won't give us a whole lot of rain, but we'll take anything we can get at this point."

An approaching cold front is pushing the rain clouds this way. The temperature should begin dropping Monday, with afternoon highs staying in the mid 60s through at least Wednesday. Night temperatures are expected to dip into the 40s.

"It doesn't look like anything catastrophically cold," Morales said. "It'll be blustery for a few days, compared to what we've had."

This has been a winter of extremes for the Tampa Bay area. January was the eighth coldest January since local records started in 1891, but February was the 10th warmest February, with average daily temperatures six degrees above normal.

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