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The October heat wave continues, but relief is near

The great October heat wave continues this week, with "feels-like'' temperatures of nearly 100 degrees or more and no relief until the weekend.

A stubborn high-pressure system over the Southeast will keep daytime highs in the Tampa Bay area at or near record levels, with temperatures inland even higher.

It's even hot at night.

The low temperature Sunday at Tampa International Airport fell to just 76 degrees, tying the record for that date, set in 1934. In fact, five days last week the heat tied or broke records for a high low temperature.

October has been on a blistering pace.

Last month, Florida was warmer than the historic norm for September by 0.9 degrees. That's considered a fairly weighty number in meteorological terms.

But October is on pace to obliterate that figure. Through Sunday, Florida's mean temperature was 3.5 degrees hotter than normal.

"I doubt if it will come down," Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay said. "That's so extreme it's hard to make up."

Clay said a steady procession of powerful low-pressure systems over the Rockies and Southwest have created correspondingly powerful highs over Florida. The result: stifling heat.

"We're just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Clay said.

But change is on the way.

A cold front forecast to dislodge the high-pressure system could drop high temperatures into the more normal low 80s by this weekend.

The October heat wave continues, but relief is near 10/12/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4:00pm]

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