TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s been quite dry this month, only accumulating merely .80″ of rain so far. But that dry trend comes to an end this weekend, as our rainy season kicks off with a soggy start.

A surge of tropical moisture spreads across the state from the south, enhancing our rainfall potential. We’ll see several waves of rain on Friday and we’ll see enhanced chances for showers all weekend long.

Settling into next weekend, we see healthy chances for afternoon showers each day.

When is rainy season in Tampa Bay?

According the the National Weather Service, rainy season for Southwest Florida generally runs from May 15 through Oct. 15.

We receive roughly two-thirds of our annual rainfall within our rainy season. Once rainy season sets in, our wildfire danger diminishes.

Graph showing that we get 2/3s of our annual rainfall during rainy season.

Several factors work together to create our rainy season. First, high pressure develops east of Florida – roughly over Bermuda – called the Bermuda High. Then, our sea surface temperatures warm beyond 82° offshore. Lastly, we need more moist and humid air, both at the surface and aloft.

The NWS breaks our rainy season down into three phases:

  1. Late May through June: The period when severe storms are most likely. Hail, damaging winds and waterspouts are common, in addition to heavy rainfall and frequent lightning.
  2. July through early September: When the rainy season peaks. While the overall threat for severe weather diminishes, heavy rainfall and seasonal river flooding remain significant hazards, along with frequent lightning.
  3. Mid-September through early October: The “wind down” phase – it tends to have higher rainfall variability due to potential tropical systems and early-fall cold fronts.

While we see rain in our area nearly every day during rainy season, not every area gets the rain each day. Who gets the afternoon showers and who stays dry depends heavily on overall wind direction that day.

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