Residents in and around Tampa Bay enjoyed a mostly sunny, though quite hot and very humid weekend. However, in regards to other parts of the country, Hurricane Irene made landfall on Saturday in North Carolina as a Category Two Hurricane, then again on Sunday in New Jersey and New York as a Tropical Storm. Damage amounts in dollars, as well as injury and fatality statistics have yet to be confirmed, but the total is likely to be in the billions of dollars. In addition to Irene, Tropical Depression Ten developed and dissipated over the weekend, and Tropical Storm Jose formed in the Atlantic Ocean not far from Bermuda. Also of note, there is a system just off the west coast of Africa with an almost 100% chance of development according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). However, this area is in the far eastern Atlantic, and there will be a week or more to monitor progress before it becomes a threat to the United States. For more information, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/, or the AccuWeather Hurricane Center website at: http://hurricane.accuweather.com/hurricane/index.asp. Also, Storm Central provides graphical interpretation of the tracks of tropical systems at: http://centralstorm.wordpress.com.
The weather in and around Tampa for this past weekend was mostly dry and breezy. However, scattered thunderstorms developed on Sunday and brought significant precipitation to many locations. Friday was fairly seasonable, with temperatures just a bit above normal. Highs ranged 90-93, with a gusty westerly wind left in the wake of Irene, and heat index values reached 100-103. However, the gusty westerly flow off of the 90 degree Gulf of Mexico allowed several all-time record high minimums to be tied or broken for Saturday. Tampa tied the all time record with a low of 85, originally set in July 1980. Sarasota broke an old all-time record of 83 when the low only fell to 85. St. Petersburg’s low temperature of 86 broke a record of 85 last set in August 2007. Along with the warm overnight lows, there were oppressive dew point temperatures on Saturday that ranged 78-83. When combined with fairly moderate temperatures of 90-93, heat index values soared into the 108-115 range that day. These values, combined with the excessively warm overnight temperatures, prompted the local National Weather Service to issue a Heat Advisory for Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Sunday brought increased coverage of thunderstorms. According to the National Weather Service, all four main reporting stations recorded between one-half to one inch of rain Sunday, with highs of 90-93, and heat index values from 103-112 prior to thunderstorm development.
Monday and Tuesday
Tampa residents and vacationers can expect fairly typical summer conditions for the beginning of the work week. Skies will remain partly cloudy, with 40% thunderstorm coverage each afternoon. Morning lows will reach 75-82, and afternoon highs Monday and Tuesday will range 88-95. For more detailed information, please visit the local National Weather Service website at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tbw/, or the Storm Team 8 Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/StormTeam8WFLA.