1. Weather

Tampa Bay on verge of record for most consecutive days over 70 degrees

It’s fall, but it sure doesn’t feel like fall. When will the bay area get some real pumpkin spice weather?
Donny Jasinski, a Baltimore native and a freshman at the University of Tampa, relaxes by the pool while browsing through his I-Phone on the campus Aquatics Center on Thursday, September 27, 2018. "One of the reasons why I came here for school was the weather," said Jasinski. [JONES, OCTAVIO | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 17
Updated Oct. 17

Another week of “fall” has passed. But as Halloween and the holidays approach, it doesn’t feel like Tampa Bay is close to joining pumpkin spice season.

Just ask the meteorologists.

The Tampa Bay region is about to set a new record for the longest stretch of time with temperatures at 70 degrees or greater.

It has been that hot in the bay area since May 17, 2019 — a span of 151 days as of Wednesday. That will set a new record if things don’t cool down by this upcoming Monday.

Last year shattered the previous record as temperatures stayed above 70 degrees for a 155 day-stretch that went from May 10 to Oct. 13.

There is a chance that Tampa may dip below 70 degrees in the coming week. If not, a new record will be set. [Courtesy of the U.S. National Weather Service, Tampa Bay Florida]

The National Weather Service in Ruskin is using the temperatures measured at Tampa International Airport to demonstrate the bay area’s hot streak.

But that’s not all.

Meteorologists also are watching another record: The latest first occurrence of temperatures below 70 degrees in autumn, said weather service meteorologist Dustin Norman.

Autumn officially started Sept. 23. Yet nearly a month later, the region’s temperatures still linger in the high 80s.

The last time it took so long for temps to dip below a low of 70 was fall 1959. The heat that season lingered until Oct. 19.

This year’s Oct. 19 is Saturday.

"If we do not hit 69 degrees by Saturday, that would break that record," Norman said.

Why is it so hot so late in the year? It’s complicated.

Our temperatures don’t fluctuate as much in Tampa Bay as they do in other parts of the country, Norman said. There are many factors to consider, from trends of longer El Niños to the warming climate.

READ MORE: Disturbance will bring wind, rain, possibly tornadoes to Tampa Bay this weekend

There’s a fast-moving storm system in the Gulf of Mexico moving northeast and taking aim at the Panhandle that should cool things down. But will it cool things down enough to break 70 degrees? Bay area residents may be more concerned with thundershowers, wind gusts and possible tornadoes to worry about that.

“The main takeaway is a breezy, wet weekend ahead," Norman said. "It’s not looking like a good beach weekend.”


  1. Tropical storm Sebastien has developed in the Atlantic and now has an 80 percent chance of turning into a tropical cyclone. [National Hurricane Center] National Hurricane Center
    Forecasters with the National Weather Service do not expect the storm to threaten land.
  2. Forecasters with the National Weather Service estimate that the system has a 50-percent chance of developing into a tropical or sub-tropical depression during the next 48 hours. National Weather Service
    Forecasters with the National Weather Service expect the system to develop into a depression by mid-week.
  3. Maintainers prepare KC-135s refueling planes to be evacuated from MacDill Air Force Base in August. A new study predicts MacDill and other Florida bases will experience a sharp rise in the number of days when the heat index tops 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it unsafe to be outside for extended periods. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    MacDill Air Force Base is predicted to see big increases in days the heat index tops 100 degrees.
  4. An arctic blast will chill the eastern U.S. this week and send temperatures in Florida well below normal on Wednesday. National Weather Service
    Tampa Bay might not freeze this week, but we’ll get the coldest temperatures of the season so far as they dip well below normal.
  5. The St. Petersburg waterfront shines in the morning sun. Cool, dry weather is forecast to continue well into the week.
    Following the hottest October in history, things might finally cool during the second week of November.
  6. Buchanan Street near A1A in Hollywood flooded in late September of this year due to king tides. [Taimy Alvarez | South Florida Sun Sentinel] TAIMY ALVAREZ  |  South Florida Sun Sentinel
    Even as saltwater swallows their streets, they find a way to carry on as though nothing is out of the ordinary.
  7. [Times files]
    The bay area has endured record-breaking heat this fall. But it’ll get cooler on Saturday and then really cool on Sunday. Enjoy it while it lasts.
  8. Abundant Halloween decorations are seen  in much of the Old Northeast neighborhood of St. Petersburg. The neighborhood has become a destination for trick-or-treaters from across the city. Photos by Edward Linsimer
    Going trick-or-treating in Tampa Bay? That costume better be breathable.
  9. A motorist drives down a flooded Meadowlawn Dr. near Kingswood Dr. in St. Petersburg after Tropical Storm Colin dumped heavy rains over the Tampa Bay area Tuesday. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
    The partisan divide is less pronounced in a state already grappling with rising seas and stronger storms.
  10. The projected path of Tropical Storm Olga National Hurricane Center
    The storm is expected to merge with a cold front and become post-tropical before impacting Louisiana late tonight.