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A cold front ushers in Tampa Bay's first full fall-like weekend, in time for Halloween

Forecasters say brisk winds and a chance of showers will continue ahead of a cooler weekend and a dry Halloween.

Thursday's cold front swept through the greater Tampa Bay region as expected, producing periods of gusty winds and bands of strong downpours, along with a Tornado Watch across a large swath of the state.

Now it's time to experience the first significant fall-like conditions in time for Halloween weekend.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say the cold front will move through the state on Friday morning, followed by a secondary front on Saturday and a high-pressure system on Sunday into the first half of next week.

The Tampa area can expect brisk westerly breezes off the Gulf of Mexico on Friday along with partly to mostly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 70s, with a 50 percent chance of afternoon showers — primarily along the coast, forecasters say. Overnight lows will drop into the upper 60s.

Some of those gusts could reach 30-40 mph along the coast in the afternoon.

Saturday is forecast to be mostly cloudy with a continued chance for showers, but with significantly cooler temperatures. High will struggle to reach the mid-70s with lows in the low-60s — and even chillier to the north.

Trick-or-treaters should not have to worry about any rain on Sunday as drier conditions take hold into next week, forecasters say. Temperatures will continue to run below normal, with highs on Sunday in the mid- to upper-70s with northerly breezes before warming back into the low- to mid-80s next week and winds shifting back from the east-northeast.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.