Tampa Bay will return to normal springtime weather Tuesday after an unusually sweltering February weekend.
That means high temperatures will dip back down to the mid-70s for Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Spectrum Bay News 9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik. The end of the week will have slightly warmer temperatures but is expected to have highs that remain below 80.
Pleasant temperatures will likely come with rain, however.
There will be a 20 percent chance Monday evening — to go along with a high of 80 — followed by a 40 percent chance of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday will be the only day this week with no chance of rain, while Friday has a 40 percent chance, Kacmarik said.
Inland Hillsborough County on Saturday saw temperatures reach 90 degrees for likely the first time in 2021, said National Weather Service meteorologist Austen Flannery of the Ruskin bureau. It was the peak of an abnormally warm late-February day in Tampa Bay where a part of every county in the region reached 85 at some point.
The heat was almost record-breaking for Tampa itself, if not for an unexpected sea breeze that emerged in the early afternoon. The breeze moved cooler air from the ocean over our region’s coastal cities, keeping Tampa’s high temperature to 84 — two degrees below the record set in 2017.
“The sea breeze is a moderator,” Flannery said. “Before it, Tampa was certainly on track to set a new heat record for the day.”
The forecast for Sunday is nearly identical to what it was Saturday, with well-above-average temperatures and muggy air, Kacmarik said.
She set the high for the region at 85 with a low of 67. There is no chance of rain.
“Temperatures are well into the 80s and we’re going to keep it going,” Kacmarik said. “There’s no fronts coming through yet.”
The next cold front — albeit a small one — is expected to enter our region Monday afternoon, Kacmarik said. That’s when we’ll see our temperatures start to drop and our chance of rain begin to rise.