Breaking News
More () »

Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

What you need to know for Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Good morning Tampa Bay! Thank you for waking up on the Brightside with us.

TAMPA, Fla. — Good morning! It's Wednesday, Tampa Bay!

Let's get the day going with some of today's top stories. 

Another late start 🔔

It's going to be a little longer before students in Pinellas County hear the class bell ring again. 

Pinellas County Schools voted Tuesday to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year to August 24. 

The original start date was set for August 12. 

The later start date will give school district leaders time to get ready for the year during the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Pinellas County school leaders vote to push school year start to Aug. 24

RELATED: Here are the reopening plans for Tampa Bay school districts

Planning to pop in for a visit? 

Families across Florida have been banned from seeing their loved ones in assisted living facilities since March. 

Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is thinking of relaxing his assisted living facility visitation ban.

The governor said the use of rapid tests that provide a result not long after it's performed can help ensure visitors are safe. 

RELATED: DeSantis considers allowing nursing home visits

Tracking the tropics 🌀

Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine is forecast to become Tropical Storm Isaias within the next 24 hours. 

A "Potential Tropical Cyclone" is a designation given to a system that is likely to develop and expected to impact land within 48 hours. This allows a forecast cone and tropical alerts to be issued.

So, what can you expect next in the developing storm? As of 5 a.m., the storm does have tropical-storm-force winds. Winds are sustained at 40 mph with higher gusts. However, the storm lacks a good tropical cyclone organization with a defined center.

Most forecast models do strengthen the storm into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours and continue to strengthen it into the early part of the weekend. By Sunday, the storm is expected to weaken a bit as it approaches Florida. 

While the forecast cone does take it into Florida, you can expect changes in the path and strength of the tropical system.

The takeaway for anyone in Florida? A storm that is four or five days out and hasn’t formed yet is hard to predict, with both its path and intensity.

RELATED: Florida is in the cone of Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine

As the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continues to ramp up, we want to know if you are prepared? Let us know by voting here.