Temperature records fall as heat wave settles in

The January heat wave continued to break records Wednesday as temperatures climbed as much as 15 degrees above normal in some areas.

The high at Tampa International Airport reached 85 degrees, breaking by 3 degrees the 41-year-old record for the date.

Among others, Sarasota reached a record 87 degrees and Fort Myers hit 88, eclipsing the record of 85, set in 1974.

Why so hot?

"We're not getting a sea breeze" said Mike Clay, chief meteorologist for Bay News 9. "The winds from the east are strong enough that we are not getting those cooler breezes off the Gulf of Mexico."

The heat wave started Tuesday and likely will be around through the weekend.

Tuesday's high at Tampa International Airport hit 84 degrees, tying a record set in 1991. The same record was tied in Lakeland.

The unseasonable warmth is a result of high pressure building in over the mid-Atlantic region, pulling up warmer air from the Caribbean basin.

High temperatures through the weekend likely will be near 80 or higher, but it won't be as warm as Wednesday.

"We should have enough cloud cover the next few days to keep the temperatures a little cooler, but it's still going to be unseasonably warm," Clay said.

Temperature records fall as heat wave settles in 01/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 10:27pm]

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