It was another day with above normal temperatures for Tampa Bay with record highs for Christmas Day falling.
- Today's high temperature in Tampa of 86 degrees breaks record high for Dec. 25 of 83 degrees in 1984, 1942, and 1911. The thermometer hit 86 degrees at 3:16 Friday afternoon.
- This also tied the 86 degrees set on eight previous dates as the warmest temperature recorded in December. It was also 86 degrees on 12/1/1991, 12/2/1991, 12/4/1994, 12/7/1998, 12/8/1972, 12/9/1972, 12/14/1973, and 12/20/1990.
- The Sarasota/Bradenton Airport hit 85 degrees today for a new record high there too. This breaks the old record of 84 set in 1998 and 1942.
There is no sign of an end to this pattern into the end of the year.
The culprit is a strong upper level high ridging northward from the warm Caribbean which has been persistent over Florida since October. The upper high is amplified by troughs out west which are bringing unsettled and cold weather to the Western U.S.
Between the two extremes, a stationary front is the focus for heavy rains and flash flooding, especially in the Deep South.
The upper high is forecast to weaken slightly for the weekend and into next week, some computer models show a little cooling for us but others keep the record heat going.
At this time, we will forecast temperatures near the records but maybe a degree or two lower for the weekend into Monday. Rain will be hard to find as the dry weather continues.
But there may be enough moisture for a stray afternoon shower, maybe forming on the active sea breeze, so we will have a slight chance of afternoon showers over the weekend.
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