ST. PETERSBURG — This year's average temperatures in May and June are shaping up to be the hottest in St. Petersburg and Tampa history, meteorologists said Monday.
In St. Petersburg, the average temperatures for those months so far has been 84.2 — 2.2 degrees warmer than 1935's record of 82.
And in Tampa, the average temperature was 82.8 degrees — besting the previous record of 82.3 in 1998.
The simmering start of summer has included 26 straight days of highs 90 or hotter — and counting.
There are still a few more days left in June, but forecasters say that only a continuous downpour — and there's a 50 to 60 percent chance of rain for the rest of the week —will keep this year from achieving the record.
The weather service began keeping records in 1890.
"We can't say we broke it yet, the month's not over," said National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Close. "But it looks like it's going to."
The record temperatures come on the heels of one of the coldest winters ever in Tampa Bay. Tampa and St. Petersburg saw 26 and 28 days, respectively, that stayed below 60 degrees, meteorologists said.
Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker said there's nothing particularly peculiar about having a cold winter followed by a red-hot start of summer.
He said a relatively dry June is partially responsible for the warmth. Though May is typically a dry month, June is the start of the rainy season.
Through Monday night, Tampa has only received 4.39 inches of rain in June, 0.71 inches below normal. St. Petersburg has received 2.91 inches of rain, 2.52 inches below normal, the weather service reported.
Close said temperatures will remain in the upper 80s to low 90s for the rest of the week.