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NWS gives Tampa Bay’s rainy season a date

While actual start and stop dates can vary, this is when you’re most likely to see daily thunderstorms and relentless humidity.

TAMPA, Fla. — We know the hurricane season has a start date of June 1 and an end date of Nov. 30. Today, the National Weather Service (NWS) of Tampa Bay gave dates for the region’s rainy season too.

After evaluating local thunderstorm science and climatology to define the rainy season in our area, the NWS determined it begins on May 25 and ends on Oct. 10.

Of course, the rainy season can begin abruptly in some years, and the onset can take weeks to develop in other years. So, the beginning of the rainy season is usually a transition period rather than a single date. The actual start of the rainy season can start before May 25, similar to the way hurricanes can form before the official start of Hurricane Season on June 1.

The rainy season is characterized by warm, humid conditions with nearly daily showers and thunderstorms. 

Credit: Robert Neff
What a downpour looks like on radar and in real life. Captured during the rainy season in 2020 in Pinellas County.

Aside from the onset of almost daily showers and thunderstorms over the Florida peninsula, the rainy season also features night and morning showers and thunderstorms over the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. 

This is typically accompanied by an increase in humidity with persistent dew point values above 70 degrees, daily low temperatures in the 70s to around 80, and high temperatures in the upper 80s to the mid-90s.

The rainy season usually has three phases:

  • Late May through early July is the "stormiest" part of the season. Severe weather impacts include damaging winds, waterspouts, tornadoes, excessive lightning, hail, and flooding rain.
  • Early July through early September remains hot, humid, and wet
  • Mid-September through early October tends to have higher rainfall variability due to potential tropical systems and early-fall cold fronts.
Credit: Damon Powers
A waterspout forms over Sarasota Bay during they rainy season in 2020.

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