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Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Fall may have arrived, but Tampa Bay area will still feel the heat

Falling leaves, cool winds and pumpkin spice characterize the autumn season, which began Saturday. But the Tampa Bay area won't be seeing any differences in our recent hot streak until mid-October, and even then it could be short-lived.

Temperatures this week will remain in the lower 90s, just a few degrees above the historic average for the first week of the fall season.

"At this point, the heat is nothing particularly unusual," said Andrew McKaughan, a metereologist for the National Weather Service in Ruskin. "It's normally not until mid-Ocbtober that we begin to see a cool-down and even then it isn't going to be that cool.

"For now, we're going to remain above normal for the entire week with no signs of a cool-down in the immediate future."

EXTENDED FORECAST: The 10-day outlook for the Tampa Bay area

Overnight lows are the first indication of cool weather to come, according to data collected by the weather service. Multiple factors help determine the overnight lows around Florida, but as cold fronts begin to move into the area, nighttime temperatures are the first sign of change.

According to the data, the first cold fronts hit Tampa on average around Oct. 12. Last year, the first time temperatures dropped below 60 was on Oct. 25. The cooler temperatures will normally only last for a few days, and any lasting changes won't come until November.

But as Monday begins, temperatures are expected to rise to around 93 across Tampa Bay -- just one degree shy of the record high. Humidity will drive up the heat index into triple digits.

Skies will be partly cloudy until the late afternoon when scattered showers and thunderstorms develop. There is a 50-60 percent chance of rain throughout the region, forecasters said, and overnight temperatures will drop to the mid-70s with partly cloudy skies. Any lingering thunderstorms will dissipate before midnight.

Expect much of the same throughout the week, with partly cloudy skies and late-afternoon storms. Temperatures will continue to run a few degrees above historic averages, drifting around the low 90s.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Leslie, the 12th named storm of the season, developed Saturday in the Atlantic. Tropical Depression Kirk joined Leslie shortly after. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center say Leslie will begin to fizzle quickly and Kirk is expected to gather some strength in the next few days but ultimately die out before reaching land in the western Caribbean.


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Contact Devin Rodriguez at [email protected] or Follow on Twitter @devinreports

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