Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Could Tampa reach 100 degrees for the first time ever? Another record heat day begs the question

The sun burns through the sky Thursday morning over Clearwater, a day in which Tampa Bay would see another heat record shattered. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]

The sun burns through the sky Thursday morning over Clearwater, a day in which Tampa Bay would see another heat record shattered. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]

TAMPA — May's unrelenting heat wave has shattered another record temperature at Tampa International Airport, this time hitting 97 degrees on a day when the previous record was 93.

The airport also tied a temperature record the day before, with a high of 98 on Wednesday. The previous record had been set in 1975.

"Ninety-eight degrees for May, that's crazy," said 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Bobby Deskins. "That's one degree from the warmest we've ever measured at Tampa International Airport — ever."

If you're keeping track, that makes nine record high temperatures since 2017 began, Deskins said. Thursday's previous record was set in 1995.

The airport has never hit 100 degrees, but Deskins thinks that's just a matter of time.

"I've been saying this for years now," he said. "I think it could go. It may go this year."

This year owes its intense heat to a serious lack of moisture, hot winds keeping the sea breeze offshore and plenty of sunshine. When the sun beats down on dry ground, heat builds fast.

Relief is on its way in the form of Florida's typical summer afternoon thunderstorm pattern, but that won't take hold until June. Until then, some weak showers this weekend may help bring temperatures down. Deskins said the showers could usher in moisture needed to build clouds that bring more rain.

He also said that while the record heat raises eyebrows, it's too early to pin it on climate change. Patterns may reveal themselves from a distance, but he said one heat event can't be examined in isolation.

"It's tough to say when you're in it," he said.

Contact Claire McNeill at cmcneill@tampabay.com.

Could Tampa reach 100 degrees for the first time ever? Another record heat day begs the question 05/18/17 [Last modified: Friday, May 19, 2017 8:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. McConnell trying to revise the Senate health care bill by Friday

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is aiming to send a revised version of his health care bill to the Congressional Budget Office as soon as Friday as he continues to push for a vote before Congress' August recess.

    Protesters rally against the Senate Republican health care bill Wednesday on the east front of the Capitol building.
  2. Police raise likely death toll in London high-rise blaze

    World

    LONDON — The number of people killed or presumed dead in the London high-rise fire has inched up to 80, but the final death toll may not be known for months, British police said at a grim briefing Wednesday.

  3. Rick Baker gives himself a "B" in 1st debate against Rick Kriseman

    Blogs

    Rick Baker gave himself a “B” in his first debate against Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    Rick Baker chats with supporters at a fundraiser at St. Petersburg Yacht Club Wednesday evening
  4. Companies, governments assess damage from latest malware attack

    World

    PARIS — Companies and governments around the world on Wednesday counted the cost of a software epidemic that has disrupted ports, hospitals and banks. Ukraine, which was hardest hit and where the attack likely originated, said it had secured critical state assets — though everyday life remained affected, …

  5. Details of Trump's travel ban still being finalized

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security labored Wednesday to finalize rules for visitors from six mostly Muslim nations who hope to avoid the Trump administration's revived travel ban and come to the United States.