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Beneficial Rain to Soak Parts of Florida

A disturbance will bring much-needed rain to portions of Florida Friday night into Saturday, helping ease recent dry conditions that have gripped the state.

Showers are expected to dampen Florida Friday before switching over to steadier periods of rain Friday night along the western coast from Tampa to Fort Myers.

The heaviest rain will likely remain off the coast over water. However, some of the heavier rain may brush portions of the western coast of the state. Either way, any rain is welcomed at this point.

A recent stretch of dry conditions, extending back to October, has left parts of the state abnormally dry for this time of the year.

The lack of rainfall kept Tampa below an inch for the month of October. Monthly rainfall for October measured 0.82 of an inch, well below the normal of 2.26 inches. There were only two days of measurable rainfall in October.

Total monthly rainfall across Florida experiences a downward trend this time of year.

According to Meteorologist Maggie Johnson, "average monthly rainfall decreases through the fall season as thunderstorms become less likely".

Although rainfall decreases each month during the fall, this season has been slightly drier and this lack of rain has caused some problems.

Dry conditions may be to blame for the sinkholes that have caused evacuations in the St. Petersburg area.

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Also, gusty winds factored in with the recent dry spell have created ideal conditions for wildfire ignition and growth. Several red flag warnings have been issued over the past few days.

Rain that falls through the weekend will help alleviate the wildfire threat. However, folks should still exercise proper wildfire prevention.

Although this rain will be welcomed by many, not everybody will be happy to see it fall. Vacationers who have been soaking up the sun and enjoying the dry stretch will likely have their plans dampened by the rain.

Showers will continue to dampen the region Saturday and into early Sunday. Another round of rain is possible early next week as a cold front sweeps through the state.

Story written by Meteorologist Jordan Root