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Near-record heat expected this week, but it’s not ‘hot season’ – yet

Parts of Tampa Bay will see temperatures rise into the low 90s this week.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
A hot beach day.

TAMPA, Fla. — Weather can be crazy this time of the year--chilly, then hot. Or even needing to use your car heater in the morning and then air conditioning in the afternoon.

And this week, is no different. It's chilly afternoons early in the week, followed by afternoons with near-record heat in the 90s for some.

But why are temperatures all over the place? It’s still the time of year where cold fronts can make it south of Tampa Bay, allowing cooler air from the north to move into much of Florida. This gets much more difficult when the hot season begins in Tampa Bay.

The hot season in Tampa, doesn’t start until May 6. According to Florida State University, the hot season runs, on average, from May 6 through October 27. 

The hot season is defined as a period when there is at least seven consecutive days when the cooling degree-days in the moving average reached or exceeded 10.

Degree days are based on the assumption that when the outside temperature is 65°, we don't need heating or cooling to be comfortable. Meaning, they are the difference between the daily temperature mean, (high temperature plus low temperature divided by two) and 65°. 

Let’s do an example:

The high temperature for a particular day was 90° and the low temperature was 66°. The temperature mean for that day was: ( 90° + 66°) / 2 = 78°.

Because the result is above 65°, you have a cooling degree day. How many? Simply take the temperature mean and subtract 65. 78° - 65° = 13 cooling degree days.

Back to the hot season in Tampa Bay. 

While it doesn’t start for about another 6 weeks, it can still get hot. Then followed by more cool. 

The hot this week could set records in some locations, especially inland. The hottest days of the week will be Thursday and Friday.

Of course, outside of our hot season, you might expect some cooler air to follow and you would be correct. We’re in the 70s again by Tuesday.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

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