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It's hot out there, Tampa Bay, but it's no record

The Tampa Bay area came oh, so close to breaking a high temperature record Monday.

At Tampa International Airport, the record high, set in 2002, is 94 degrees. Monday, the mercury in Tampa reached 93.

At St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Airport, the record set in 1956 is 91. Monday? 89.

The chance to break records diminishes, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Eric Oglesby, with incoming clouds and a 40 percent chance of rain Tuesday,

Monday's heat was part of a pattern over the past several days that brought record highs over the weekend to Tampa, Lakeland and several other cities. Lakes Wales, in Polk County, recorded highs of 98 degrees Saturday and Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

The problem is high pressure in the upper atmosphere, essentially trapping warm air over a large area.

"We're looking at a flat, broad area with no significant weather features — high pressure and only light winds, nothing to move it out,'' said Tom Dougherty, meteorologist with the weather service office in Ruskin. "It basically extends from South Carolina to the Mississippi Valley.''

There's not much relief in sight.

Cooler sea breezes off the Gulf of Mexico, colliding with warmer air over the Florida peninsula, offer some chance of scattered thunderstorms through the week.

Beyond that, another cool front from the north will be necessary to create enough wind to push the hot air out of the area.

Longer range forecasts indicate a front could move in early next week.

It's hot out there, Tampa Bay, but it's no record 05/11/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 6:47am]
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