TAMPA, Fla. — Mother Nature held out for the Tampa Bay Lightning boat parade, though not long enough for the Stanley Cup celebrations on dry land.
It was more like the opposite of dry as blue skies gave way to gray and, suddenly, lightning strikes amid a downpour.
The team announced the party at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park was canceled because of inclement weather. A future celebration is not in the works, for now, a city spokesperson confirmed.
"It was a great celebration—joyous, unscripted, spontaneous, and a thrill for tens of thousands of fans, many of whom happened to get wet," spokesperson Adam Smith said. "The Lightning brought the thunder again, and it was a blast.
"No plans to reschedule at this time."
Strong thunderstorms began to pop during the mid-afternoon Monday and rolled into the downtown Tampa area not long after the team's boat parade ended.
The National Weather Service warned these storms were capable of producing very strong winds — perhaps strong enough to trap a boater still left on the water in Tampa Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.
A severe thunderstorm warning that had been in effect through 4 p.m. for parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties has been canceled. Still, strong storms continue to push through the area.
For the crowd hanging out at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, well, even an umbrella or poncho might not have been enough to keep out the drenching rainfall. Although it might not be as fun, the safest place to be during a storm is indoors.
The risk of damaging winds, large hail and perhaps a tornado or waterspout will continue into the early evening hours.
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