Nov 29, 2021 - News

Tampa Bay's winters are heating up

Warmer-than-normal fall days in Tampa Bay per year
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Axios Visuals

If you're holding out hope that it will snow here again like it did on Jan. 19, 1977 — the last time it snowed in Tampa Bay — climate scientists say the odds are piled high against you.

Driving the news: The winter season isn't as cold as it was 50 years ago, according to Climate Central's latest winter weather analysis.

  • Using 52 years of winter temperature data in 246 locations across the U.S., the scientists found that about 98% have seen an increase in average winter temperatures since 1970, with 84% of those locations warming by 2°F or more.

Details: In Tampa, only 16 days of winter were warmer than normal the year it snowed. In 2020, we had 57 warmer winter days than normal.

The big picture: Since 1970, winter is the fastest-warming season for most of the U.S.

  • The analysis shows that over the past 50 years, average temperatures increased more in winter than in any other season for 38 out of 49 states.

Yes, but: There can still be cold winters. The likelihood of extreme cold is decreasing but is not zero, and some locations — like the Dakotas and Montana — actually got colder.

⛄️ So hold out hope. Wednesday is the first day of winter.

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