May 23, 2022 - News

It's officially rainy season in Tampa Bay

Illustration of a hammock in the rain, shielded by an umbrella.
Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Get ready to get wet.

Driving the news: Tampa Bay is now officially in "rainy season," which generally runs from May to October.

Details: After a seasonably dry winter, we'll get two-thirds of our annual rainfall packed into the next few months.

Why it matters: The season is marked by near-daily afternoon thunderstorms that will cut power, down tree limbs, flood roads and soak you to the bone at least a time or two.

How it works: We live in a subtropical sweet spot between the Temperate Zone to the north and the Tropical Zone to the south. Starting now through September, the tropical climate to our south moves north.

  • Did you feel that shift to an oppressively moist heat in the past few days? That's where we're at!

What's happening: The Bermuda high sets up. Sea surface temperatures go above 82 degrees offshore. Moisture aloft increases. And surface dew points rise into the 70s.

Threat level: Now through the end of June, hail, intense rain, high winds and waterspouts are possible.

  • The season peaks in July and August with heavy rainfall, lightning and river flooding. It tapers off with volatile rainfall in September and October.

Yes, but: Thinking ahead goes a long way. Throw an umbrella and shammy in the car now.

What's next: Hurricane season starts June 1. It's never too early to prepare.

  • The National Hurricane Center on Sunday issued its first tropical weather outlook for a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, with a very low chance of developing into a hurricane?
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