Hurricane Florence sets up a drier-than-normal weekend across Tampa Bay

Seven-day forecast for the Tampa Bay area on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.
Seven-day forecast for the Tampa Bay area on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.
Published September 14
Updated September 14

As Hurricane Florence slowly makes its way westward to the East Coast, moisture is being pulled from the air over Florida, setting the Tampa Bay area up for an unseasonably dry weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, just after 7:30 a.m., moving slowly west at 6 mph. Florence’s circulation is so large, forecasters said, its westward tract is bringing more westerly winds Friday and drying out the air. A strong afternoon seabreeze Friday will still push a few isolated thunderstorms inland and south of Interstate 4 beginning around 2 p.m., but those storms could be few and far between as rain chances stay around 30 percent.

RELATED: Hurricane Florence makes landfall, brings ‘catastrophic’ flooding to Carolinas

Saturday will bring even stronger westerly winds as Florence moves southwest across the Carolinas, further drying out the bay area and reducing rain chances to 20 percent on Saturday and Sunday. With Florence expected to break up over land and turn toward the north sometime Sunday, seasonal rain patterns should return to the area by Tuesday.

While the weekend will be a respite from rain, seasonal temperatures will remain normal, with highs in the low 90s and overnight lows in the mid 70s.

Looking out at the tropics, Isaac has been downgraded to a tropical depression in the Caribbean, while Joyce and Helene, two tropical storms in the east Atlantic, are expected to steer well clear of the U.S.

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Daniel Figueroa IV can be reached at dfigueroa@tampabay.com. Follow @danuscripts

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