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Record temperatures bring summer-like heat to Tampa Bay area

Summer-like heat and humidity have returned to the Tampa Bay area this week as a year of extraordinary weather continues.

Monday's high reached 88 degrees at Tampa International Airport, one degree shy of a 107-year-old record for the date.

The high Sunday was 91 degrees, tying a 73-year-old record for that date.

And the forecast for the next two days calls for more of the same.

"It's going to be very hot and muggy,'' said Bay News 9 meteorologist Julie Marquez.

By Thursday, things should begin to change again. A cool front will move into the area, dropping daytime temperatures into the mid- or low 80s, just in time for the weekend.

But for the next couple of days, the heat is back.

The record warming spell is but the latest offering in a year that began with the coldest winter on record, followed by the hottest summer on record, and then an active hurricane season with virtually no major landfalls.

"It's been amazing,'' Marquez said.

The current heat wave is a product of winds from the south, bringing moist, warm air from the Caribbean.

It could portend things to come.

In its winter forecast, the National Weather Service predicts a dry winter that could lead to water management issues and a risk of wildfires.

The forecast is a result of La Nina, which is characterized by a cooling of waters in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean.

That usually means less stormy weather and drier conditions in the Florida and the Southeast, a dramatic contrast from the last winter's record cold.

Record temperatures bring summer-like heat to Tampa Bay area 10/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 25, 2010 7:50pm]
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