Advertisement
  1. Local Weather

86 degrees is new high for Dec. 17 in Tampa. Weekend may set records, too.

It’s time for swimsuits, not scarves. At least the summerlike temperatures come without summer’s high humidity.
Reese Lambert, of Toledo, Ohio, streams down a water slide Friday while visiting Clearwater Beach. Tampa hit a record high of 86 Friday as daily temperatures reach at 10 degrees or more above normal.
Reese Lambert, of Toledo, Ohio, streams down a water slide Friday while visiting Clearwater Beach. Tampa hit a record high of 86 Friday as daily temperatures reach at 10 degrees or more above normal. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Dec. 17, 2021
Updated Dec. 17, 2021

Day after day this month, temperatures have been poking at record highs. They finally broke through Friday and may do so again this weekend.

Highs on Saturday and Sunday are expected to range between 83 and 85 degrees for much of Tampa Bay, said Rodney Wynn of the National Weather Service’s Ruskin office. The record for both days, Dec. 18 and Dec. 19, is 84 degrees in 2016.

Not to mention Friday. Tampa reached 86 around 2:45 p.m., the National Weather Service said. That was one degree above the record of 85 set in 1956.

The official Tampa temperature is recorded at Tampa International Airport.

Related: 5 things to know about Tampa Bay weather this Christmas season

The average high temperature for Tampa in mid-December is about 74 degrees, Wynn said — more than 10 degrees cooler than the current forecast.

But while the temperatures are summerlike, the humidity and the chance of rain are low. There’s a 10 percent chance of showers Saturday and a 20 percent chance Sunday, said Spectrum Bay News 9.

That means swimsuits rather than scarves are in order this weekend.

People explore the shore south of Pier 60 while visiting Clearwater Beach on Friday. Tampa hit a record high of 86 Friday as daily temperatures reach at 10 degrees or more above normal.
People explore the shore south of Pier 60 while visiting Clearwater Beach on Friday. Tampa hit a record high of 86 Friday as daily temperatures reach at 10 degrees or more above normal. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Still, if you’re dreaming of a chilly Christmas, you may be in luck, Wynn said. A cold front will arrive in the Tampa Bay area next week that will drop the high on Christmas Day into the low 70s. That’s a little below normal and will feel even more refreshing after such a long warm stretch, he said.

With two weeks left it’s too early to know, Wynn said, but this December stands a chance of finishing as the warmest in Tampa Bay’s history.