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What you need to know for Monday, September 14, 2020

Good morning Tampa Bay! Thanks for starting your week on the Brightside with us.

TAMPA, Fla. — Good morning Tampa Bay! It's a great start to the workweek. 

Let's take a look at today's top stories. 

Free food for students 😋📚

Beginning today, students in Pasco and Manatee counties will be able to eat for free

At the end of August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended flexibilities through the end of the year, allowing summer meal program operators to keep serving free meals to all children this fall. 

Some districts have offered free meals for a while now. The Hernando County School District has been offering free meals to all students since 2018. You can learn more about Hernando's program here.

Polk and Highlands counties will again offer free school lunches to students this year.

RELATED: Pasco County makes school lunch free

RELATED: Manatee County schools offering free lunches to students

Tracking the tropics 🌀

The tropics are staying busy. 

Tropical Depression 21 formed in the eastern Atlantic early Monday morning. It is expected to be short-lived this week with no threat to the U.S. NHC says Tropical Depression 21 could see slight strengthening today and tonight, and it could briefly become a tropical storm during that time before weakening occurs on Tuesday 

Tropical Depression 20 strengthened into Tropical Storm Teddy early Monday morning. Teddy is forecast to reach hurricane strength later this week.

Teddy is the earliest named "T" storm on record, beating Tammy which formed on Oct. 5, 2005.

Tropical Storm Sally continues its trek away from the Tampa Bay area and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it is forecast to become a hurricane before landfall.

With the activity so far this year, it is no surprise we are officially in peak hurricane season. In addition to Tropical Storms Sally and Teddy and Tropical Depression 21, there is Hurricane Paulette and Tropical Depression Rene, churning in the Atlantic and multiple areas of interest in the tropics.

RELATED: Tropical Depression 21 forms over the Atlantic

RELATED: Tropical Depression 20 strengthens into Tropical Storm Teddy

RELATED: NHC: Tropical Storm Sally to bring storm surge, hurricane-force winds to northern Gulf Coast

Back in business 🍻

Starting today, bars across Florida will be able to reopen at half capacity. The announcement came somewhat unexpectedly after bars were shuttered in June. 

Florida bars were closed after the state logged record-high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases.  

RELATED: Florida bars allowed to reopen at half-capacity starting Monday

RELATED: Bar owners looking forward to business as state approves reopening

Rainy and stormy start to the week ⛈️

Sally is moving to the west through the Gulf of Mexico, but with most of the rain remaining on the right side of the storm, some showers will stick around. Winds will become less breezy throughout Monday, flowing out of the east-southeast 5-15 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies stick around Monday, and with deeper moisture still present, heavy downpours are possible through Monday and Tuesday. The afternoon heat will trigger showers and storms, so we'll see better rain chances after 2 p.m.

The heavy rain associated with some of these storms could lead to some minor urban flooding.

RELATED: 10 Weather: More showers and storms Monday