RUSKIN, Fla (970 WFLA/ NWS)- Widely scattered thunderstorms are expected to become more numerous Wednesday evening and overnight...especially near the coast. A few of these storms may be strong. The main threats with any storms will be heavy rainfall...frequent lightning...and a low risk of isolated tornadoes.
A flood watch is in effect for the entire forecast area. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to become more widespread later Wednesday and especially into the overnight hours tonight. Some of the rainfall may be locally heavy. the main threat for flooding tonight will be over urbanized area...but the threat may expand to area rivers on Thursday as the potential for heavy rainfall continues.
A slow increase in winds and seas is expected as low pressure continues to organize in the eastern gulf of mexico. small craft advisory conditions will expand to the North and East with time across the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Minor coastal flooding is possible as low pressure moves toward and over the region Thursday and Thursday night. The most likely time to see the minor coastal flooding issues looks to be during the high tide cycles on Thursday.
Rough conditions are expected across the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Thursday and Thursday night before low pressure pulls away from the region on Friday.
The areas effected by the flood watch are: Southwest Florida...Charlotte and Lee. in West Central Florida...Desoto,Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough,Citrus, Hernando, Manatee,Pasco,Pinellas,Polk and Sarasota through Thursday evening.
Expect widespread rainfall totals of 4 to 7 inches with locally higher amounts possible through Thursday evening.