ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! 2019 is in the books and it is time to look back at the Tampa Bay Area weather.

2019 was a warm and wet year in Central Florida. Most areas saw between 50 and 65 inches of rain. Thirty-year normals are between 45 and 60 inches. A few locations did end up below average in rainfall, but most were 5 to 14 inches above normal.

2019 was also very warm. The added moisture in the air led to rather warm mornings. We didn’t see too many unusually cold mornings during the winter months. Throughout the year, we average above normal each month. But, high temperatures were only above average 6 months. It was all about the low temperatures.

For Tampa specifically, the mornings were very warm. The observation at Tampa International Airport always reads warm in the mornings due to the Urban Heat Island effect of all the construction and new development at the airport over the last few years. I wrote a blog about this in October of 2018. 

So, looking back at the numbers from 2019, rainfall in Tampa was 60.76 inches, which is 14.4 inches above normal.

The average temperature in 2019 was 75.83 degrees, which is 2.28 degrees above normal.

Specifically in December 2019, we were also warm and wet. We saw a few weather systems move through with some heavy rain. The pattern across the country didn’t favor the cold air moving too far south. So, while much of the nation saw its share of Arctic cold snaps, we missed out.

The numbers for December 2019:

  • Tampa
    Average Temp: 67.6 (4.5 degrees above normal)
    Rainfall: 4.49” (2.02 inches above normal)
  • Lakeland
    Average Temp: 67.1 (4.1 degrees above normal)
    Rainfall: 3.37” (0.77 inches above normal)
  • Bradenton
    Average Temp: 68.7 (5.2 degrees above normal)
    Rainfall: 2.80” (0.20 inches above normal)
  • Brooksville
    Average Temp: 64.3 (5.0 degrees above normal)
    Rainfall: 4.57” (2.18 inches above normal)
  • Clearwater
    Average Temp: 67.6 (3.9 degrees above normal)
    Rainfall: 4.94” (2.01 inches above normal)
  • St. Petersburg
    Average Temp: 67.8 (3.7 degrees above normal)
    Rainfall: 4.70” (1.95 inches above normal)
  • Winter Haven
    Average Temp: 67.5 (4.4 degrees above normal)
    Rainfall: 2.99” (0.34 inches above normal)

Looking ahead to January, we don’t typically see changes in our average temperatures. We start the month with an average low of 52 and an average high of 70. By the 31st, those numbers move to 71 and 53. We average 2.23” of rain in January.

Looking into the next week or two, the pattern should allow a few cold snaps to make their way into Florida. And with those cold fronts, some rain will be in the forecast.