World & Nation
AP The Wire
Comics & Games
Home & Garden
Advertise with the Times
A teasing rain sprinkles parched bay area
By LEANORA MINAI
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 28, 2000
Temperatures should return to near 80 today as the cool front and upper-level disturbance moves out of the area.
"We'll return to our mostly sunny, drier weather again," said Paul Close, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
A slight chance of thundershowers is expected Thursday and Friday, but no substantial rain is in the forecast.
Monday's rain helped, even temporarily easing concerns about wildfires. But more is needed.
"It's going to take a lot more than just a few showers here and there to bring the levels up to where they need to be," said Michael Molligan, spokesman for the Southwest Florida Water Management District, known as Swiftmud.
"Rainfall is unpredictable in Florida," Molligan said. "You either get too much or too little of it."
In the Central Florida area that comprises Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties, rainfall is 10 inches below normal. This month, 0.12 inches of rain fell.
"The historic average in March is 3.62," Molligan said.
The Hillsborough River, which reached its all-time record low in 1994, is nearing another record.
Forecasters and water officials say the Tampa Bay area needs a long, steady rain, especially when 60 percent or more of the rain never makes it to the aquifer and is instead evaporated or taken in by plants.
Days like Monday help, but they are not an immediate cure.
© St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.