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Rainy season pattern sets up Memorial Day weekend

Afternoon showers and storms return Sunday, with coverage increasing through the upcoming week.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It's time to dust off those umbrellas! Florida's rainy season is about to begin, and afternoon showers and storms may interrupt your three-day weekend plans.

A high-pressure setup to our northeast took control of our weather the last two weeks, providing us with abundant sunshine, lower dew points in the 50s, but little to no measurable precipitation. While many of us weren't complaining about this setup, it's still abnormal, and a more seasonable pattern will take over in the upcoming week.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

To start things off, a cold front moves over the state Sunday and stalls out, providing enough moisture to support a few showers and storms at the coast and inland mainly in the afternoon. Sunday will not be a washout by any means, but keep an eye on the radar if you plan on being outside.

Rain chances increase a bit as we head into Memorial Day. The best time to get any outdoor activities done will be in the morning and early afternoon before scattered storms start firing up along the sea breeze, traveling east to west. 

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

The center of high pressure will be stationed well to our east in the Atlantic by mid-week. Easterly flow will eventually turn more out of the south, gradually bringing warm and tropical air into the state. The gradual increase in available moisture will lead to an uptick in the daily rain chances. Expect this "rainy season" setup to hold tight through the weekend.

For much of the state, this needed rain is overdue. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center's latest drought monitor update, parts of Central Florida and the Tampa Bay Area have fallen into the "abnormally dry" criteria following a month of little to no rainfall. Tampa International Airport recorded a whopping 0.16 inches of rain so far this May, nearly 2 inches below the monthly average.

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