WEATHER BLOG: What is 'normal' for Florida weather?

By Josh Linker, Bay News 9 Meteorologist
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Tampa Bay area has had some very warm days this Winter, and some very cold ones too. But, what is normal?

  • What is normal for Florida winter weather? 
  • Normal really means average
  • The summer "normal" is more consistent
  • The winter "normal" can change quite a bit

Normal is a term that doesn’t really even mean “normal.” The correct term should be “average.”

During the summer months, our area doesn't have much variability in the weather, so using the word “normal” would be appropriate.

However, during the Winter, our area can get some pretty big swings in temperature. In fact, just this past weekend, the temperature change from 7 a.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday was 40 degrees.

Because of the potential for swings in temperature - which is normal - meteorologists prefer to use the term “average.”

An example of what that means is, our average high for Jan 11 is 71 degrees. Having a day with a high of 71 is certainly possible, but it isn’t necessarily normal. 

Over a period of a few decades, Jan 11 would have a wide range of temperatures, and the average of those temperatures would be about 71 degrees. Some days it could be 10-15 degrees warmer, some days could be 10-15 degrees colder, but that averages out to be 71.

However, if you are wondering what "normal" is for the rest of the winter, just know that in West Central Florida, it can be pretty warm in January, and it can be very cold as well. And, in many winters our area has seen a little of both. And that is what is “normal.”