TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa broke numerous records for warm temperatures across June and July. One explanation for the rising temperatures in the downtown Tampa area is called the urban heat island effect.

The urban heat island effect takes place in areas where there is a lot of development and a dense concentration of surfaces that absorb and retain heat. Surfaces like asphalt and dark roofs on houses and buildings absorb sunlight instead of reflecting it back upward.

In downtown areas, there are a lot of cars, buildings and factories that emit heat. When an air conditioner cools a house, the heat that is pulled out of the house is put back outside – which also raises air temperatures.

With over-developed areas, there are fewer trees which leads to less shade and more of that sunlight reaching the ground.

All of these factors lead to higher temperatures.

The official thermometer that records temperatures for Tampa is located at the Tampa International Airport, which is not in the heart of downtown Tampa. However, there has been considerable development near the sensor in recent years. This is one reason for the warming temperatures in the Tampa area.