Last year was warm, but it wasn’t quite record-breaking, according to the National Weather Service.
NWS meteorologist Paul Close said Tuesday that the average temperature for the area in December was 66.2 degrees.
Close said the average temperature for 2017 at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport ended up at 74.6 degrees, making it the third warmest year on record.
But not just the third warmest year ever, it’s part of a trend in recently warm years. Close said 2017 fell behind 2015 and 2016 — the warmest year for the Sarasota-Bradenton area yet with an average temperature for the year of 75.3 degrees, one-tenth of a degree higher than 2015’s average.
“It’s a trend but there’s a lot of trends,” Close said. “It’s slowly getting warmer but we could go circling back down this year.”
Record event reports collected by the NWS also showed that in 2017, the area tied a record low temperature, a record minimum low temperature and three daily maximum rainfall records — one of which came after Hurricane Irma moved through the area.
In Miami, NWS officials said Tuesday temperatures tied for the second warmest year on the books with 2015.
David Zierden, a climatologist with the Florida Climate Center, said he’s waiting on the official numbers from the NWS for the year’s end, but still believes the statewide average could still set a record in 2017. He said these records may not be available for another week or two.
Records set in the Sarasota-Bradenton area in 2017:
- Record low temperature: 47 degrees on Oct. 31, tied old record of 47 in 1963.
- Record minimum high temperature of 68 degrees on Oct. 30, the previous record was 70 in 2012.
- Record daily maximum rainfall of 1.97 inches on Oct. 23, broke previous record of 1.21 inches in 2005.
- Record daily maximum rainfall at Sarasota-Bradenton of 5.31 inches on Sept 10, broke previous record of 3.85 in 1912.
- Record daily maximum rainfall of 4.32 inches on Aug. 27 broke previous record of 3.69 in 2002.