Floridians are no stranger to the heat and humidity. Heat index values above 100 degrees occur all the time during the summer months. This is largely due to the humidity in Florida.
Did you know that Tampa has never officially reached 100 degrees in history? Records for the Tampa region date back to 1890.
This delicacy may come as a surprise to many. We hear ‘how is that possible? My car read 100 degrees yesterday! In fact, we tend to receive photos of car thermometer readings above 100 degrees every summer. Car thermometers and bench thermometers are known to read a little hot.
So what is the hottest temperature recorded in Tampa? That would be 99 degrees and that has only happened once in history. The date was June 5, 1985.
The temperature gauge for Tampa is located at Tampa International Airport. It is the official reporting site for Tampa Bay.
Here are a few reasons why it is very difficult to reach 100 degrees in Tampa:
- Daily sea breeze in the afternoon
- Afternoon clouds and thunderstorms
- Humid air mass
Almost every afternoon, a sea breeze develops in the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay and moves inland. This is a cooler air mass that draws in and cools our area every afternoon.
The sea breeze is also responsible for producing afternoon showers and thunderstorms. The afternoon clouds limit the heating of the sun. In addition, afternoon storms cool the area with rain-cooled air.
Another important contribution to the lack of a temperature of 100 degrees is the humidity. It takes a lot of energy to heat and cool a moist air mass versus a dry air mass. Therefore, our temperatures do not drop quickly at night like in the desert. It is also the reason why we do not see as many daily temperature fluctuations this time of year as winter.
There are a few cities in the Bay Area that have reached 100 degrees or more.
- Saint Petersburg reached its record high of 100 degrees in the years 1985, 1995 and 2011.
- Sarasota reached a record high of 101 degrees a few times; 1971, 1972 and 2007.
- Lakeland reached its record high of 105 degrees in 1985.
It is very possible that Tampa will officially reach 100 degrees. The question is whether 2020 will be the year? Time will tell.