Cool! Fall has finally arrived in Tampa Bay

Folks waiting for fall can finally rejoice. A brisk morning will lead to a pleasant day in Tampa Bay, and highs this week will remain in the mid to upper 80s -- with an even cooler weekend forecast.
Published October 22 2018
Updated October 22 2018

While it may not be as dramatic as seeing the bright orange and red foliage that marks the arrival of autumn up north, it looks like fall as finally come to Tampa Bay.

Residents are waking up Monday to seasonably brisk conditions, and after weeks of sweltering highs in the low 90s, highs will only reach the mid-80s this week.

"The weather’s very refreshing,” Diane Martinez, who walks Tampa’s Riverwalk every morning, said Monday. "It seems like we've had the longest summer ever. It's nice to finally feel a little bit of a cool-off."

Added Angela Hernandez, 33: "It's freezing compared to the rest of the month. This weekend I was at the beach, now I’m wearing a sweater downtown (Tampa). It’s definitely a welcome change, though, if it stays."

On top of that, forecasters said, another cold front due to arrive this weekend should keep temperatures much cooler than they were last week.

“As far as it goes, this is the first week of the seasonable weather,” said Nicole Carlisle, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “It’s a lot nicer outside than we’ve seen so far this season.”

EXTENDED FORECAST: The 10-day outlook for the Tampa Bay area

Today’s crisp, cool morning is due to a cold front that pushed through Tampa Bay on Sunday. Wake-up temperatures were down into the low 60s in the immediate Tampa Bay area -- and even cooler to the north of Tampa Bay. Over the course of the week, the weather will warm slowly to the upper 80s but not forecast to reach the low 90s, where they had been.

"Really what [this cold front] is doing is returning temperatures to their seasonal normal instead of the hot we’ve had so far," Carlisle said. "Last week was so much warmer than what we normally have for this time of year.”

By Monday afternoon, highs should reach around 84 under partly cloudy skies and little to no chance of rain. Overnight temperatures will dip into the upper 60s with a little cloud cover.

Through the week, temperatures will slowly rise back to the upper 80s. Expect afternoon skies to be partly cloudy with a small chance for isolated afternoon showers later in the day.

Forecasters say rain chances could increase by Friday as Hurricane Willa -- now a Category 5 storm expected to make landfall Tuesday on the Pacific coastline of Mexico -- moves through Texas and the Southeast later this week.

After that, though, another cold front will sweep through the region, producing even cooler conditions.

“By the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday will be really nice and highs may not even reach 80 degrees,” Carlisle said.

Welcome to fall, Tampa Bay.

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Times staff writer Josh Fiallo contributed to this report.

Contact Devin Rodriguez at [email protected]/com or follow @devlinspooks on Twitter.

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