December has come and gone and we had our ups and downs in the weather.
There were three significant weather events during the month that brought rain, severe weather, strong wind, and changes from warmth to cold.
On December 9, a strong squall line came through in the morning with several tornadoes in Pasco and Hillsborough counties along with heavy rains between 1.5-3 inches widespread across the area.
Then, less than a week later on the 14th, a large upper level low pressure area over Louisiana brought us rounds of heavy rainfall. Most areas ended up again with 2-3 inches with some 6”+ totals north of Tampa Bay.
On the 20th and 21st we had a 1-2 punch with severe weather followed by a significant wind event on the 21st. On the 20th, there were three confirmed tornadoes in Manatee and Polk counties, and then on the 21st winds gusted over 50 mph for most of the day and even a gust over 70 mph was reported at Clearwater Beach! Most spots ended up with 3-6 inches of rain on the 20th.
The December rain totals were very impressive. In fact some areas’ rainfall ranked in the top 3 December rainfall totals of all time.
For December temperatures, it was a weird month. Up until the last week with unusually warm weather (some days more than 10 degrees warmer than normal), December was way below average. Because of the last week, most locations ended up with a warmer than normal December by about 2 degrees.
Looking back at 2018, we had our share of weather events, from heat to fringe effects from Hurricane Michael back in October. Overall, 2018 ended above average temperature-wise and most spots had higher than normal yearly rainfall. The heaviest rain generally occurred from Tampa Bay Northward. Some inland locations and points south of Tampa Bay did have below normal rainfall.
For the year, Tampa’s average temperature was 75.59 degrees, which was 2.25 degrees above average. And the yearly rainfall was 61.48 inches, which was more than 15 inches above normal.
What will 2019 bring? Well, likely more ups and downs in the winter months, more heat in the summer, along with storms and hopefully no tropical systems heading our way.
Happy New Year from The Spectrum Bay News 9 Weather Team.