A flood warning has been issued for the Little Manatee River at Wimauma as a line of showers and thunderstorms continue to stream in off the Gulf of Mexico, producing steady rain and potentially strong downpours.
According to the National Weather Service, minor flooding will take place as the river is forecast to rise above flood level by late Thursday night.
The river’s flood stage is 11 feet, and is expected to continue to rise to near 11.8 feet by early Friday afternoon before receding by Saturday morning.
The Tampa Bay region also is under a special marine warning until noon as National Weather Service radar picked up a strong thunderstorm producing winds 34 knots or greater about six miles east of Johns Pass, moving east.
The storms also delayed dozens of flights outbound from Tampa International Airport, but as of 11:30 a.m., no flights have been cancelled.
Airport spokeswoman Janet Zink said it appears at least 48 outbound flights are delayed, but only by about an hour. “Both arrivals and departures are delayed, from all over the country,” she said.
“We’ve got a frontal boundary draped between northern Florida and us,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Rodney Wynn, based in the Ruskin office.
“A steady flow of showers and storms are moving in from the west-southwest. This is a cold front associated with a low pressure system to the north,” Wynn said.
“We’re going to see a steady flow” of the same kind of weather throughout the afternoon, he said. “That was a pretty heavy one that went through just now, but they will be steadily flowing in from the Gulf throughout day.”
There is a 60 percent chance of scattered, more widespread storms, with highs staying below 90.
The showers will linger tonight into Thursday morning, with rain chances easing later Thursday and ushering in drier air starting on Friday.