Monday was the fourth day in a row Tampa topped out at or above 80 degrees for an afternoon high temperature. Under partly cloudy skies, the high topped out at 80. With unseasonably high dew point temperatures averaging around 70 degrees, the afternoon high temperatures felt more like the middle 80s. Monday morning was also the second day in a row with a minimum temperature of 70 or above, which further attests to the warm and humid air mass that has dominated west-central Florida since Friday.
However, the unusually warm weather pattern across Tampa Bay will come to an end by Christmas Eve afternoon. A cold front will move south across the Florida Peninsula through the day, and will likely trigger the development of a few thunderstorms from Christmas Eve morning through the afternoon. By dusk on Christmas Eve night, weather conditions will feel significantly more like Christmas.
Forecast for west-central Florida through Christmas Day
Precipitation coverage across west-central Florida will average around 50 percent overnight into Christmas Eve morning, and drop to around 20 percent for the rest of the day. After lows from 60 to 65 degrees, highs will top out between 70 and 75 degrees Christmas Eve afternoon under partly cloudy skies. Winds will pick up behind the passage of the front in the afternoon, which will make the cooler temperatures feel a bit colder.
By Christmas Day morning, lows are expected to fall down to between 45 and 50 degrees. With almost full sunshine through the afternoon, highs on Christmas Day will reach the lower to middle 70s. There is no chance of rain on Christmas Day.
Unsettled weather returns to Tampa Bay by Thursday
An upper-level disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico will move towards the Florida Peninsula by Thursday, and will linger over the area through Saturday. This will bring cloudy and showery conditions to Tampa Bay during the three day period.
Precipitation coverage will range between 30 percent and 50 percent each afternoon. After morning lows between 55 and 62 degrees, highs will top out between 70 and 75 degrees for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Links to more weather information
For additional Christmas Day forecast details and information, please visit the National Weather Service website, the Storm Team 8 Facebook page, and Meteorologist Denis Phillips Facebook page. Finally, the Tampa Bay Weather Examiner wants to wish a Merry Christmas to all of his readers.