Advertisement
  1. News

Compared to most years, Tampa Bay experienced a soggy 2019

With a few days to go in 2019, it stands to be the 16th wettest year since the 1890s, according to the National Weather Service.
Severe storms in April led to some street flooding near Edison Ave and Bayshore Blvd in Tampa. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Severe storms in April led to some street flooding near Edison Ave and Bayshore Blvd in Tampa. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Dec. 29, 2019

TAMPA — If you found yourself looking for an umbrella more frequently in 2019, you weren’t imagining things.

With more than 10 extra inches of rain on average across the region this year, the Tampa Bay area had a wet 2019. Based on the 60.37 inches of rainfallThe National Weather Service measured 62.56 inches of rainfall this year at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, 53.46 inches at Albert Whitted Airport, 67.33 inches in Tarpon Springs, 58.88 inches in Brooksville and 65.41 inches in Plant City.

with a few days left, it was the 16th wettest year since the 1890s, according to the National Weather Service.

Players wait on the sidelines as steady rain and a sunset produces a double rainbow in the sky as the Tampa Bay Tech Titans take on the Plant City Raiders at home on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 in Tampa. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]

The National Weather Service measured 62.56 inches of rainfall this year at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, 53.46 inches at Albert Whitted Airport, 67.33 inches in Tarpon Springs, 58.88 inches in Brooksville and 65.41 inches in Plant City.

“We’ve seen a pretty wet year,” meteorologist Austin Flannery said.

The wettest year on record for the area, according to Flannery, was 1959, which saw a drenching 76.5 inches of rain.

A rain cloud passes as fisherman Billy Tedder, of Gibsonton, net casts in the waters just off of the Tarpon Springs causeway Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 in Tarpon Springs. [CHRIS URSO | Times]

What causes some years to experience more rainfall than others is difficult to predict, Flannery said. Most years average between 40-50 inches.

“That’s pretty tricky,” he said. “But there’s a few climate indicators we can look at.”

The National Weather Service measured 62.56 inches of rainfall this year at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, 53.46 inches at Albert Whitted Airport, 67.33 inches in Tarpon Springs, 58.88 inches in Brooksville and 65.41 inches in Plant City.

Torrential rain during an August evening flooded several streets around St. Petersburg. The intersection of Ninth Street N and 62nd Avenue N, shown here, was turned into a lake. Police had to block the road. [AMY HOLLYFIELD | Times]

Susan Goebel-Canning with Pinellas County Stormwater Management said the county regularly monitors over 400 “hot spots” across the county, such as Booker Creek, to check for flooding and drainage issues.

"We’ve certainly seen a lot of rainfall this year,” she said.

Andy Squires, with Pinellas County’s environmental management department, said this year produced an uptick in algae blooms, which thrive under high heat and precipitation.

Curt Williams, assistant director of government affairs for the Florida Farm Bureau, said the extra rainfall during 2019 has been a mixed blessing for strawberry growers in the area.

“The rainfall has reduced their demand for irrigation quite significantly,” Williams said. “With moisture and Florida’s humidity, they’ve also seen an increase in disease.”

He said while it has been a notable struggle that will likely have some financial impact on growers, it would likely not be catastrophic.

Water from heavy rain in August floods a driveway on Snell Isle Boulevard NE in St. Petersburg. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]

“I think the main thing, for agriculture it’s so hard because there are so many unknowns,” Williams said. "The producers have to be their own meteorologists at times. "

The Farm Bureau’s Cacee Hilliard said most other parts of the state saw an average year, though parts of South Florida and the Panhandle were slightly drier than normal.

“Thank goodness we didn’t have any major storm that devastated like Hurricane Michael,” Hilliard said. “That’s always a blessing.”

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Clockwise from left: Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apple, Candy Corn and Cheeseburger-On-A-Stick [Courtesy of the Florida State Fair]
    Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apples and more are coming to the Florida State Fair.
  2. Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy Alton Smith helps recover items Wednesday from Twitt Lake in Odessa during a dive team practice. Divers used the drill to search for evidence of a forgotten African American cemetery nearby. [CHRIS URSO   |  Times]
    Keystone Memorial Cemetery was established by a freed slave and disappeared in the 1950s. The dive team chose Lake Twitt to do its monthly practice.
  3. In this Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, Joseph Maldonado answers a question during an interview at the zoo he runs in Wynnewood, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) [SUE OGROCKI  |  AP]
    A federal judge sentenced Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage to 22 years in prison for trying to arrange the killing of Carole Baskin.
  4. St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, left, and U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announce the creation of the regional Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Police are spearheading a new six-county task force after receiving a $742,000 Justice Department grant.
  5. In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. (Senate Television via AP) [AP]
    After late-night deliberations over the rules almost ensured no new witnesses will be heard, the trial picked up speed
  6. More than 44 percent of people who searched on ApartmentList.com for the Tampa Bay area from June to December were outside the region, according to a report from Apartment List. Percentages in the “Top Three Sources” box represent the share of searches coming from outside the metro area. (Apartment List map) [Apartment List]
    The region trails only Denver, Baltimore and San Diego for the percentage of people from outside the area searching for apartments on Apartment List.
  7. To accommodate the swelling numbers of aging baby boomers, experts say we will need to make transportation more readily available, build more affordable housing, modify homes and apartments to help seniors age in place, and create programs to bring young and old people together. [Times (2011)]
    “There’s never been a time like this,” one expert says. Solutions include more health aides, taming long-term care costs and just healthier living.
  8. The northbound lanes of I-275 were closed for more than four hours early Tuesday morning as troopers investigated a deadly crash. [Florida Highway Patrol]
    Police had pulled over their vehicle for driving the wrong way on Fifth Avenue S, but the driver took off and crashed shortly after.
  9. Facebook user Cornelius King posted this warning on November 19, 2019. Hillsborough County Sheriff says it is a hoax, but the viral message continues to spread online. [Facebook screenshot]
    A viral post encourages Florida drivers to run over people they see in the street to avoid being attacked.
  10. A stunned iguana lies in the grass at Cherry Creek Park in Oakland Park, Fla., Wednesday. The National Weather Service Miami posted Tuesday on its official Twitter that residents shouldn't be surprised if they see iguanas falling from trees as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. The low temperatures stun the invasive reptiles, but the iguanas won't necessarily die. That means many will wake up as temperatures rise Wednesday. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP) [JOE CAVARETTA  |  AP]
    Iguana meat, dubbed “chicken of the trees,” started showing up on Facebook Marketplace overnight, as the temperature dipped into the 40s.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement