Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Tampa Bay Area, FL

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FXUS62 KTBW 210740

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Tampa Bay Ruskin FL
340 AM EDT Wed Mar 21 2018

.SHORT TERM (Today through Thursday)...
A strong mid level trough will continue to swing through the
southeastern US and Mid Atlantic region today and tonight,
propelling the surface cold front through southern Florida
and into Cuba. With strong surface high pressure filling
into the Gulf in the wake of the cold front, breezy
northwest winds will support persistent cold air advection,
bringing in a significantly cooler and drier air mass.
Highs will top out well below normal today, generally from
the mid 60s to mid 70s under mostly clear skies and
noticeably lower humidity. The main weather concern will be
breezy northwest winds, contributing to a high risk of
strong and frequent rip currents along area beaches.

Surface high pressure will continue to shift east towards
Florida and the northeastern Gulf tonight and Thursday,
with winds turning to more northerly and subsiding slightly,
but still remaining on the breezy side. This will allow
temperatures to continue to cool, with morning lows ranging
from around 40 over the Nature Coast to the mid 50s over the
southwest Florida coast. Highs on Thursday will be even
cooler than today despite the sunny skies, generally
topping out from the mid 60s to around 70.

.Long Term (Thursday Night through Tuesday)...
Broad troughing will be in place aloft for the end of the
week with surface high pressure building over the state.
This setup will give us one more cool night Thursday night
into Friday morning, with lows reaching the upper 30s across
some portions of the Nature Coast. The rest of the day will
be pleasant, with highs generally from around 70 into the
mid 70s under sunny skies. As we head into the weekend,
ridging aloft will build eastward over the Gulf of Mexico
and Florida as the surface high shifts out into the western
Atlantic. This will lead to warming temperatures for both
Saturday and Sunday. This ridge looks to hold in place for
early next week, with a continuation of the warmer
conditions from the weekend. There will be little to no rain
chance through the period.


VFR conditions are generally expected to hold through the
next 24 hours under breezy northwest winds. The possible
exception will be isolated patches of MVFR ceilings which
could briefly impact area terminals through sunrise.


Breezy northwest winds are continuing over the eastern Gulf
of Mexico as high pressure fills in behind the recent cold
front, producing seas of up to 8 feet offshore. The Small
Craft Advisory will continue into this evening across the
coastal waters, and through Thursday morning for the Gulf
waters north of Englewood. High pressure will build in
Thursday through the weekend, with marine conditions
gradually improving.


A much drier air mass is filling into the region in the wake
of a cold front, with relative humidity expected to drop
to below 35 percent over the interior for a few hours this
afternoon. With breezy northwest winds expected all
afternoon, Red Flag Warnings are in effect for Polk,
Highlands, and inland portions of Charlotte and Lee Counties
this afternoon, as ERC values are forecast to be over 26.
The breezy winds will also cause high dispersion indices
over the northern half of the Florida Peninsula this

RH values will be even lower Thursday afternoon, but
sustained winds are expected to be less than 15 MPH. As a
result Red Flag conditions are not expected unless ERC
values rise to at least 37.


.Preliminary Point Temps/PoPs...
TPA  66  50  65  47 /   0   0   0   0
FMY  72  51  70  47 /  10   0   0   0
GIF  71  45  69  44 /   0   0   0   0
SRQ  66  53  64  47 /   0   0   0   0
BKV  67  42  65  37 /   0   0   0   0
SPG  67  52  65  52 /   0   0   0   0


FL...High Rip Current Risk through this evening for Coastal
     Charlotte-Coastal Hillsborough-Coastal Lee-Coastal
     Manatee-Coastal Sarasota-Pinellas.

     Red Flag Warning from 2 PM this afternoon to 7 PM EDT this
     evening for Highlands-Inland Charlotte-Inland Lee-

Gulf waters...Small Craft Advisory until 10 AM EDT Thursday for Coastal
     waters from Englewood to Tarpon Springs FL out 20 NM-
     Coastal waters from Tarpon Springs to Suwannee River
     FL out 20 NM-Waters from Englewood to Tarpon Springs
     FL out 20 to 60 NM-Waters from Tarpon Springs to
     Suwannee River FL out 20 to 60 NM.

     Small Craft Advisory until 11 PM EDT this evening for
     Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound-Coastal waters
     from Bonita Beach to Englewood FL out 20 NM-Tampa Bay
     waters-Waters from Bonita Beach to Englewood FL out
     20 to 60 NM.



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