ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This time of year, the Tampa area can experience some major swings in temperatures as cold fronts reach further south into the winter months.
Christmas Day is a perfect example! The record high in Tampa on Christmas was 86 degrees, set only a few years ago in 2016. The coldest low temperature on Christmas in Tampa was back in 1983 when the temperature fell all the way down to 20 degrees! That's a 66-degree range in record temperatures.
And this Christmas will be on the colder side of that range. The current forecast calls for lows in the low to mid-30s and highs in the upper 40s to low 50s on Christmas Day. The coldest temperatures will be found towards the Nature Coast and inland, away from the "warm" Gulf waters.
That would put this Christmas well into the top five coldest for high temperatures. If highs can stay below 53 degrees, which they are currently forecast to do, it would be the second coldest ever!
Not only will the air temperatures be cold, but there will also be a breeze, which will only make it feel a few degrees colder. Models are currently predicting wind chills in the lower 20s on Christmas Eve morning. Similar wind chills will also be possible on Christmas Day.
Wind chill advisories might be issued by the National Weather Service as the weekend becomes closer. It is also looking very likely that frost and freeze alerts will be issued across parts of the area.
No white Christmas, but it could be a frosty white one in some areas. It's a good idea to start planning to cover up sensitive vegetation or bring the potted plants inside.