We’re not talking about the fancy hotel. We want to tell you about the four climate seasons you’ll find here in our beautiful Tampa Bay area.
Now if you’ve grown up here, you’re accustomed to this, but if you’re new, here’s the breakdown:
Our “Winter” is placed correctly, running from December through February. But here’s how we define winter: Temperatures range, on average, from the 50’s to mid-70’s. This is usually beautiful weather with some cold snaps mixed in. It’s nice when we get those near the holidays to put us in the mood, but you never know…it could be warm and sunny on Christmas Day and/or New Year’s. And expect madness on the roadways, as the snow birds will be in full effect.
“Spring” arrives on time in March. But we only get a mini-spring. This is the time to go enjoy our beautiful beaches (and the days are longer with the time change), but prepare for traffic madness as now you’ll be contending with the snowbirds AND the spring breakers. Expect temperatures to be in the 60’s and 70’s, but it starts to warm up significantly towards the end of April. I remember when I checked in at the hospital to deliver my daughter at the end of April. I’d packed appropriate spring-weather clothes. When I checked out of the hospital and walked to my car, it felt like I was stepping into a whole new world. Not only because I was toting a new baby with me, but because it was suddenly noticeably hot. Oven-ish and humid. I now note as her birthday passes each year, that seems to be when the change officially takes place.
Ahh, “Summer” in Tampa Bay. It’s a good five months, from May through September. Highs in the 90’s and overnight mid-70’s. If there’s a beginning a middle and end, it goes like this:
The beginning is May. Take a vacation anywhere around our Central Florida latitude and you will feel the sun blazing into you, baking you. And that hot, wet blanket that envelopes you and renders any hair straightening products useless is our humidity. (Bad for your hair, good for your skin…but the sun is not good for your skin.)
Middle summer is our rainy season. It runs from June through August. We average 14 days of rain per month during this stretch. These are our dog days of summer. Wet dog. And of course, they’re LONG days. Expect icky traffic. Yes, the snowbirds and spring breakers have gone home and school is out, but unfortunately, a lot of people (even some who live here year-round) don’t know how to drive in the rain.
End of Summer is September and runs well past Labor Day. The positive news is that this is Florida, so you can wear white if you want to after Labor Day. But you won’t feel any reprieve from the heat. It doesn’t let up. I used to cover Friday Night Football. The September games were BRUTAL. I looked like I was melting as the game wrapped up at 10:00 P.M.
The season we really get gypped out of is Fall. Our “Fall” is October and November. But it’s not really a fall. No changing leaves and actually no significantly cooler temperatures. The entire month of October is spent, at least during the day, in the 80’s, and we pass time asking one another, “When is this #&!@ heat going to end?” It is a little cooler once it’s dark, but we don’t stay up that late because we are too worn down from the heat. November arrives and we have two things to celebrate. One is the time change. Getting darker earlier means it gets “cooler” earlier. November is also the end of Hurricane Season, which takes up the majority of our Summer and Fall. As we get to the end of November, we’re living in the 60’s and 70’s and have the whimsical notion that Winter is coming. Florida Winter.