Suncoast enters a period of above-normal warm weather

ABC7 Good Morning Suncoast - Weekdays at 5am
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 7:00 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - If you have ever pumped up a bicycle tire with a hand pump, you may have experienced how warm the pump becomes. This is due to the compression of the air inside the pump.

The high pressure area currently over the Suncoast will start to “stack,” meaning upper-air high pressure will begin to build over the low-level high pressure area.

This large and deep volume of sinking air will act somewhat like the bicycle pump and heat up our surface air. Moisture will also be increasing, which has the potential to retain heat. And winds will tend to twist south, which is a warming wind. Additionally, the days are longer and so we get more sunshine.

The long and short of it -- we will see our temperatures rise, starting today. While this pattern is in place the temperatures will remain warmer than normal by 4-8 degrees into the weekend. Beyond that, the warm air will push afternoon highs to close to records by the start of next week.

We need rain, and models indicate that we are unlikely to develop any triggers to produce significant showers. Last year at this time we were dry and stayed dry into April and then the rains began in May. So, while we wait for the rain to return, which long-term forecasts spanning the months to come suggest they will, enjoy relatively comfortable warm weather.

Remember, as we enjoy the sunny skies, the sun angle is getting higher and the risk of sunburns and increased UVB dosing is increasing. Wear that sunscreen if you plan on some beach time in the days ahead.

In the afternoon hours the UV index will be in the very high category and protection against sun damage is needed. As a rule of thumb, unprotected sun exposure should be limited to that time of the day when your shadow is longer than you are tall.