TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — There’s no denying Tampa Bay gets hot and steamy in the summer but is there a limit on how hot it can get?

Believe it or not, Tampa has never hit 100 degrees since record keeping began back in 1890.

There are several reasons for this:

  • The afternoon sea breeze kicks up
  • The city is surrounded by water
  • Daily thunderstorms

Temperatures typically warm up quickly in the morning with the sea breeze developing in the early afternoon. Once the cool sea breeze pushes inland and past the thermometer at the airport, temperatures cool off.

Tampa is also surrounded by water. Those water temperatures are in the upper 80s and low 90s in the summertime and is the reason for excessive humidity across the Bay area. That high humidity slows down the warm-up of air temperatures because it takes more energy from the sun to heat up humid air than dry air.

And finally, we also see a cooling effect from daily thunderstorms and rain cooling temps down where they form.

So is it possible for Tampa to hit 100 degrees? Probably, but since 1890 we have not seen it happen. Of course, the heat index, or the ‘feels like,’ temperature exceeds 100° on most summer days in Tampa but that is calculated by taking the air temperature and the humidity into account and is not how records are kept.

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