July 2022 was the hottest month ever recorded in Tampa
While the daily highs were slightly above average, the main contributor to the record heat was the warmer than usual overnight low temperatures.
If you think it’s been hotter than usual lately, you are not mistaken.
Tampa has recorded its hottest consecutive two months on record since record-keeping began in 1890.
The heat over June and July landed itself at the top of the list with an average daily high of 93 degrees.
And July set its own record with an average temperature — which includes daily highs and lows — of 86.3 degrees. The previous warmest month was September 2018 with an average temp of 85.8 degrees.
Paul Close, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin, says warmer than usual overnight lows and have played a role in the average increase.
"That's mainly because we're not getting the rain in the evening," Close said. "So, we don't get the storms until 7, or 8 o'clock at night. Well, the high already occurred at 4 or 5 when it's 95, 96 degrees."
Close says if this pace continues, Tampa could experience its warmest summer of all time, and that can be contributed in part to climate change related to urbanization.
"Since 1891, Tampa's temperature has increased by like two and a half degrees,” he said. “Everybody is getting warmer, it's just urbanized areas like Tampa — with the roads, concrete, parking garages — it keeps the heat and makes it warmer."
But Close says Tampa’s current heat wave can also be contributed to a La Niña weather pattern, which brings warmer and drier conditions to Tampa Bay and most of Florida.
As temperatures rise, more Floridians — especially children, older adults and outdoor workers — face risks of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat sickens when the body can’t effectively cool itself. Left untreated, this unhealthy rise in internal body temperature can lead to organ damage and, in extreme cases, death.
Warning signs include hot, red, or damp skin; fast pulse; dizziness; nausea; or vomiting, headache or fainting.