Looking out my back door through the screens.
Tropcal Storm Debby, still out in the Gulf of Mexico and wandering around, has dumped 6 inches of rain on the Tampa region today and it's still coming down in buckets.
Tampa Tribune photo of Channel Side yesterday
South of the city, in Highlands County, tornado warnings are up and residents around Myakka City and Sebring have been advised to take cover until the "all clear".
Debby's future course is still uncertain with some forecast models indicating the storm will move northeast before turning west. Tropical rains are expected for the next 24 hours from Manatee County in the south, north over Tampa / St. Pete / Clearwater and the nature coast (Citrus and Hernando Counties) and on toward the panhandle.
Tornados are a possibility this evening; winds have peeked at near 60 miles per hour in Tampa. High tide in Crystal River area is early this evening and combined with winds from the southwest, is expected to push water into the river and into local canals, potentially flooding nearby low-lying homes.
And it ain't even a hurricane!
Fingers are crossed.
PS - 4PM - Tornado warnings are out for western Pasco County from Tarpon Springs and moving north through the Port Richeys and Hudson until 5 PM. That's close.
Rainfall totals 10.17 inches at Clearwater since midnight. It is still raining cats and dogs - but mostly cats! This is, by far, the heaviest sustained rains I have seen in the 8 years I've been here.
(If this happens in late August and washes out the RNC, the Hurricane Party will be at my house!! All invited!!!)
5PM - The Sunshine Skyway Bridge between St. Pete and Manatee County has been closed. Wave heights at the off shore buoys reached 17 feet - coastal flood warnings in effect. It's still pouring and I hear thunder. Time for a bottle of hard cider.
5:46PM - Sorry folks. Time to go into my interior bathroom which serves as my tornado shelter for 15 minutes or so. Big storm cell going by!!
6:00 PM - Tornado warning expired! Yaay! Still raining. Probably will contunue for another 24 hours. Yeccht.
7PM - Well the rain has finally slowed down. Flood warnings are in effect for the next 24 hours or so. Ten homes were reported to be severaly damaged with one reported death from a tornado near Lake June. It's nice to live a dozen miles from the coast and 61 feet above sea level. I have flood insurance anyway!
Thanks to all for your good wishes.
Monday 9 AM - Well the sun is out here in Pasco County with rapidly moving clouds and gusty winds. Those in north Florida and the Gulf Coast should be wary of this one.