TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sept. 1 is the official start of meteorological fall. That means, for a majority of the country, the start of occasional cold fronts and fall-like temperatures. For Florida…not so much.
Average high temperatures for the Tampa Bay area are still hovering at 91 degrees for a few more days. The average high drops to 90 degrees (big whoop!) on Sept. 15.
By Oct. 1, the average high falls into the upper 80s – 89 degrees to be exact – and it is still quite warm and humid.
Typically, the first cold front in Tampa that drops low temperatures into the 50s arrives in mid-October – on average, of course. That first taste of fall is usually quite short-lived as well.
By Nov. 1, a bit more progress is made toward shaving off a few degrees of the high temperatures with an average high temp of 82 degrees. Cold fronts also become a little more frequent and longer-lasting.
One of the few reasons for the drop in temperatures – besides a cold front – heading into fall and winter is the decreasing length of daylight. The sunrises get later while the sunsets get earlier approaching the winter solstice. Between Sept. 10 and Halloween, about a month and a half, the sunset goes from 7:40 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., almost an entire hour earlier.
In total, 82 minutes of daylight are lost between now and Oct. 31. There is a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes between sunrise and sunset on Halloween.
The shortest day of the year has just 10 hours and 22 minutes of daylight in Tampa, occurring on the Winter Solstice – Dec. 21.
Dec. 1 is the beginning of meteorological winter and it is the third coldest month for the Tampa area. The average high is down to just 76 degrees on Dec. 1 with the coldest average high of the year being 71 degrees occurring in mid-January.
Again, these are averages and temperatures swing well above and below these averages each year.