If the June heat felt a little more sweltering than normal in Tampa, you’re on to something — temperatures reached an average high the city hasn’t seen in nearly 25 years.
This month of June was the second-hottest on record for Tampa — averaging 85.2 degrees. June’s average temperature fell just short of the record set in 1998, when the average climbed to 85.6 degrees in the Tampa area, according to a monthly climate summary from the National Weather Service. The normal temperature for June in Tampa is 82.9 degrees.
The agency began recording temperatures in Tampa in 1890.
The summary also includes readings from areas throughout the region, including Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Plant City and Lakeland. Plant City is the only other city in the Tampa Bay area to come close to breaking temperature records last month, recording its third-hottest June, according to the climate summary.
For Tampa, temperature readings are taken at Tampa International Airport. According to Eric Oglesby, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Ruskin, temperatures can fluctuate from areas separated by just a few miles, depending on how close to the water that location is. If an area is more inland, a temperature reading will likely be more consistent farther away.
“Tampa is very fortunate most of the time to be able to get a little more moderated by the water,” said Austen Flannery, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
According to Flannery, the breeze from the Tampa Bay typically keeps the air temperature in Tampa cooler than in other parts of the region. However, in June, a wind flow from the east blocked the cooling air that was trying to make its way into Tampa.
Another reason for the heat was a lack of thunderstorms in June, he said.
“Thunderstorms kind of act like nature’s air conditioning to cool us down, and when we don’t get that, then it feels a lot warmer,” Flannery said.
One week in June proved particularly blistering in Tampa. From June 15-17, the highs stayed at 95 degrees. Each of those days tied for being the hottest on record for that particular day, Flannery said. On June 18, highs hit a scorching 98 degrees — breaking the record for the hottest June 18 in Tampa.
As far as July, it’s too early to tell just how hot the month will be, Flannery said. However, the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service is predicting that the Tampa Bay area has a 40-50% chance of seeing temperatures above normal.