Not looking forward to that May electric bill? You're probably not alone.
Air conditioners all across the state of Florida were pumping at max last month as the Sunshine State had the hottest May, statewide, in the 125 years since climate records have been kept.
The average temperature for Florida in May was 78.8 degrees, the highest monthly average since record keeping started in 1895, according to data form the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That bested the previous record of 75.1 degrees, set first in 1928 then again in 1940, by a sizeable 3.7 degrees.
NOAA data also shows that Florida was the only state to set a new heat record. Georgia and the Carolinas all had their second-warmest Mays, while Virginia had its third.
Locally, temperatures were pretty hot in May. The average temperature was 81.6 degrees, but not record breaking.
"Climate reports list Plant City, Winter Haven and the Sarasota-Bradenton area all having the warmest May on record," said Rodney Wynn, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. For Tampa it wasn't the warmest. It was the second warmest by .1 degree."
According to the Weather Service, the Tampa Bay area's record is 81.7, set in 1995.
All that extreme heat was brought on by some stagnant high pressure that settled over the state for most of May, Wynn said. The deep-layered ridge of high pressure settled over Florida around the middle of the month and stuck around until early June. According to the Weather Service, daily high temperatures in Tampa Bay have stayed at or above 90 degrees since May 17.
The high-pressure system was also responsible for a dry month with low humidity and little rain. However, a wet first quarter has kept annual precipitation levels above normal.
So far in June, Wynn said, things look pretty normal. We might have a rainier start to the month, he said, but June's temperatures are looking to be right around normal, in the 90-degree range. But, after all, it is Florida, so it'll still be pretty hot.
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