"What happened was the storm continued - after interacting with Cuba - to move west-northwest", Jones said.
The best chance may be late Tuesday afternoon or evening, but the scattered nature of the rain will keep totals below 1 inch in most local backyards.
Relief operations are under way and engineers are working to restore power, but many areas remain stranded.
Last week it killed at least 37 people as it crossed the Caribbean.
Hurricane Irma has cut off power to 2 million people in Florida with repairs likely to take weeks. Streets flooded, and flying objects such as coconuts turned into risky projectiles.More news: Confirmed: First 2017/18 EPL Manager Sacked
Jones said the severity of the storm surge depended on which side of the storm Tampa was on. About two thirds of the state were left without power, according to officials.
Homes destroyed: About a dozen homes were hit by trees and destroyed in Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located, according to an initial assessment by county officials.
"It definitely went a step above even that particular one", he said. Jacksonville reported flash flooding in the downtown area.
The Cuban authorities said they had evacuated more than a million people as a precaution, including about 4,000 in the capital.
The event description reads, "Yo so this goofy looking windy head*** named Irma said they pulling up on us, let's show Irma that we shoot first".
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of the Suwannee River to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line and from north of the Flagler/Volusia County line to the South Santee River. My home town it is going to be over our houses.