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Tornado watch in effect until 11 p.m.
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The National Weather Service issued a tornado Watch at 12:45 p.m. March 17 for much of Tampa Bay, including Pinellas County.

At 1:32 p.m., NWS meteorologists detected a line of thunderstorms along a line extending from Indian Rocks Beach to 34 miles southwest of Anna Maria Island and along a extending from 7 miles west of Largo to 38 miles southwest of Fort De Soto Park. The storms were moving northeast at 40 mph.

The storm are expected to affect portions of Pinellas and Manatee counties, including Belleair Beach, Indian Shores, Clearwater Beach through 2:15 p.m. The area include I-75, I-275 and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Gusty winds 35 to 45 mph will occur, NWS said. Frequent lightning is expected.

Residents are urged to stay indoors. If caught outside, find a low spot and stay away from tall objects. When driving through heavy rain, slow down and keep a safe distance between other vehicles.

Thunderstorms are expected to continue through Tuesday with a slight risk of severe storms capable of producing damaging winds, locally heavy rainfall and deadly lightning, according to the NWS.

Strong southerly winds will create hazardous condition on area lakes. A like wind advisory continues in effect through 6 p.m. Monday.

High winds and seas on the Gulf of Mexico are creating high surf conditions likely to produce rip currents along area beaches through Monday night. A small craft advisory is in effect for Gulf waters south of Tarpon Springs.

Thunderstorms remain in the forecast through Tuesday.

The forecast for the remainder of the week calls for sunshine and highs near 80 and lows in the 60s.

Revised to include additional weather statements.
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
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Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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