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Climate change is impacting so much around us: heat, flooding, health, wildlife, housing, and more. WUSF, in collaboration with the Florida Climate Reporting Network, is bringing you stories on how climate change is affecting you.

How hot was 2022? In some areas across Florida, the temperatures were at their highest on record

Sunset over Sand Key
Carl Lisciandrello
/
WUSF Public Media
A new study by the National Weather Service shows the average temperature in some parts of Florida is the highest it's ever been.

A study of several cities in Florida shows an average rise of as much as 3 degrees in the past century.

A new study by the National Weather Service shows the average temperature in Tampa last year was the highest it's ever been.

The average temperature in Tampa last year was 76.4 degrees, up 2½ degrees since records were first kept in 1891, and a study of several cities in Florida shows an average rise of as much as 3 degrees in the past century.

It's even hotter in urban areas throughout the state, where concentrated development and concrete keep heat in, especially at night.

On average, urban areas of West Central and Southwest Florida have seen an increase of 2½-3 degrees since records were first kept a century ago.

Nicole Carlisle, a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin, says that could have consequences for people working outdoors.

"You're probably going to be having increasing heat indexes, indices, so it's going to feel warmer outside," Carlisle said. "That could potentially lead to heat exhaustion."

Carlisle says that extra heat will not only affect people who work outdoors, but add to extreme weather events, such as flooding and stronger hurricanes.

"With urbanization comes more buildings, more roads, just more things to absorb the heat coming from the sun," Carlisle said. "So I think that's probably a big part of why we see the temperatures going up."

It's not only affecting cities. The weather service said the average temperature in Saint Leo, a rural town in Pasco County, has risen 2 degrees since 1902.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.