WEATHER BLOG: A look back at Tampa Bay’s weather in 2017

By Juli Marquez and Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay, Spectrum Bay News 9 Meteorologist
Last Updated: Monday, January 01, 2018

Let’s take a look back at the weather we had in Tampa Bay in 2017.

As usual, we had some very hot days and some cold ones too. Hurricane Irma is one we won’t forget and there were some days of flooding rains. It was also the warmest year on record in Tampa!

In Tampa, we ended up with 44.32 inches of rain last year. That’s about two inches below average. Bradenton had 65.26” of rain in 2017, which is 12.25 inches above average.

2017 rainfall totals across the area:

  • 38.79” Winter Haven
  • 44.32” Tampa
  • 47.34” St. Petersburg
  • 50.08” Brooksville
  • 51.48” Clearwater
  • 56.93” Plant City
  • 57.09” Inverness
  • 65.26” Bradenton
  • 68.83” Lakeland

January 2017 had some cold days although it never got to freezing in Tampa. The coldest January temperature in Tampa was 34 degrees. Bradenton had a January low of 36 degrees. St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Lakeland had temperatures drop down to the 30s but it did not get to freezing in those locations. Areas north of Tampa Bay did have freezing temperatures, including upper 20s in Inverness.

February, March, and April were drier than normal. We were in a drought and had many wildfires across Florida in the Spring.

We had a period of hot weather last May. Tampa had a high of 98 degrees on May 17 and 19, 2017. It was the hottest on record in May. It soared to 98 in Brooksville, 97 in Bradenton and 100 degrees in Plant City that month!

Our rainy season begins in June and in 2017 it started right on schedule. June brought more than a foot of rain to parts of Tampa Bay.

Here’s a summary of the June 2017 rainfall totals:

  • 7.44” Inverness
  • 7.90” Tampa
  • 9.46” St. Petersburg
  • 11.08” Bradenton
  • 11.25” Winter Haven
  • 12.80” Brooksville
  • 13.04” Lakeland
  • 17.01” Plant City
  • 18.17” Clearwater

July and August brought our typical daily summer thunderstorms on most days, although there were some exceptions. Bradenton had 8.12” of rain on August 26 and flooding lingered in parts of western Manatee County for a couple of days. Lakeland recorded its wettest July on record with 20.06” of rain!

We had a very active hurricane season with 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher.) For Tampa Bay and Florida, September will be remembered for Hurricane Irma. On September 10th and 11th, Irma struck Florida. It brought 3 to 12 inches of rain to Tampa Bay, wind gusts of 70 to 90 mph to our area and power outages across the region.

Here are some of the local wind gusts from Irma:

  • 80 mph in Lakeland
  • 76 mph in Winter Haven
  • 73 mph Clearwater
  • 70 mph Bradenton
  • 69 mph St. Petersburg

The following months of October, November, and December were all warmer than average. It was also dry in November, with less than a quarter inch of rain in most areas. This is not unusual though because November is typically one of our driest months of the year.

2017 was a record warm year in Tampa. It was the warmest year on record at Tampa International Airport with an average temperature of 76.3 degrees. This breaks the previous record of 76.2 degrees set in 2015.

We are off to a cold start to 2018 with below-average temperatures predicted all week. There will also be some nights and mornings with freezing temperatures. You can get updates every 10 minutes with our Weather on the Nines.

Happy New Year!