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Strong storms yield to powerful wind gusts across the Tampa Bay area

Flooding along Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Police Department
Parts of Pinellas County, including Clearwater Beach, were flooded following the strong storms that moved through the region on Dec. 16, 2023.

The storm system that moved through the state on Saturday brought heavy rains and some localized flooding.

Saturday's stormy weather has largely passed through the greater Tampa Bay region, but strong winds and dangerous surf will continue through Monday and into the work week.

Saturday night into overnight Sunday, the storm system produced powerful downpours and gusty winds as it quickly moved to the northeast.

Areas along the coast are experiencing flooded roads that should recede Sunday morning after much of the region received 2-3 inches of rain and left more than 1,000 Duke Energy customers without power in Pinellas County early Sunday morning.

The Florida Department of Transportation closed the I-275 off-ramp to the Skyway North rest area Sunday around 3 a.m. due to flooding that coincided with the overnight high tide.

Tampa police reported it blocked off some roadways, as portions of Bayshore Boulevard and nearby streets in South Tampa were flooded and reopened just before noon.

Clearwater Police also reported flooding along the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Clearwater Beach and Edgewater Drive in Dunedin.

The National Weather Service says a Coastal Flood Advisory will remain in effect until Sunday at 7 a.m. for areas from Pinellas to Citrus counties.

Some areas across the state also saw as much as 5 inches of rain.

But while the rain will subside Sunday, the region will experience strong winds, along with falling temperatures.

A High Surf Advisory and Small Craft Advisory are in effect until Monday at 7 a.m. for areas along the coast, and those areas will remain under a high risk of rip currents.

The weather service says showers are still possible through 1 p.m., with the highs falling into the mid-60s and strong winds shifting from the southwest to the northwest.

Wind gusts Sunday could reach as high as 40 mph.

Sunday night will be mostly cloudy, with a low in the mid- to upper-50s and the winds subsiding somewhat but gusts approaching 30 mph still possible.

Monday's high will only reach the low 60s under drier conditions, forecasters say, with a west-to-northwest wind that will produce wind gusts as high as 18 mph. Lows will drop into the 40s,

The chillier and breezy conditions will remain in effect through mid-week.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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