In turns out the record highs you may have heard about for Tampa (International Airport weather station) were in error due to equipment problems with the sensors.
The data has been adjusted in the official records (see below). We appreciate the Ruskin NWS office listening to our concerns about the data and the site location.
We still believe the temperature sensor location, next to the highway and near new construction of parking lots and buildings, is giving an incorrect impression of the official Tampa temperature. But if the data is good from the sensor that is one big step in making sure the weather and climate records are accurate.
It would be great if the weather station could be moved to a different location on airport grounds, but this is complicated and expensive. In a conference call with the TV meteorologists in Tampa Bay, the NWS office said they were still exploring alternatives and solutions to this so-called "Tampa Airport Heat Island" growth and urbanization has created.
National Weather Service Tampa Bay Ruskin FL
823 AM EDT Fri Oct 5 2018
Due to a malfunctioning temperature sensor unit within the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) at the Tampa International Airport (KTPA), erroneous temperature spikes were identified during the afternoons of September 29 through October 2, 2018. Therefore, maximum temperatures for these days have been calibrated down to values more representative of the area and the associated weather pattern. Updated Record Event Reports (MIARERTBW) and climate data have been disseminated in regard to these adjustments.
RECORD EVENT REPORT...UPDATE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY FL
823 AM EDT FRI OCT 5 2018
...ADJUSTED HIGH TEMPERATURES FOR SEPTEMBER 29 THROUGH OCTOBER 2...
AFTER FURTHER ANALYSIS THE RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES REPORTED ON SEPTEMBER 29 THROUGH OCTOBER 2 HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED.
- THE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR SEPTEMBER 29 WAS 94 DEGREES WHICH BROKE THE OLD RECORD FOR THE DAY OF 93 DEGREES LAST SET IN 2002.
- THE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR SEPTEMBER 30 WAS 94 DEGREES WHICH BROKE THE OLD RECORD FOR THE DAY OF 93 DEGREES LAST SET IN 2005.
- THE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR OCTOBER 1 WAS 93 DEGREES WHICH DID NOT SET A NEW RECORD FOR THE DAY. THE RECORD OF 94 DEGREES SET IN 2017 IS STILL VALID.
- THE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR OCTOBER 2 WAS 92 DEGREES WHICH DID NOT SET A NEW RECORD FOR THE DAY. THE RECORD OF 93 DEGREES LAST SET IN 1986 IS STILL VALID.