This report describes the typical weather at the Tampa International Airport (Tampa, Florida, United States) weather station over the course of an average December. It is based on the historical records from 1974 to 2012. Earlier records are either unavailable or unreliable.
Tampa, Florida has a warm humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by croplands (47%), oceans and seas (27%), built-up areas (14%), forests (6%), and grasslands (6%).
The month of December is characterized by gradually falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs ranging from 75°F to 70°F over the course of the month, exceeding 82°F or dropping below 59°F only one day in ten.
Over the course of December, the length of the day is essentially constant. The shortest day of the month is December 16 with 10:22 hours of daylight; the longest day is December 1 with 10:30 hours of daylight.
The earliest sunrise is at 7:04am on December 1; the latest sunset is at 5:46pm on December 31; the latest sunrise is at 7:21am on December 31; the earliest sunset is at 5:34pm on December 3.
Daylight savings time is observed in 2012 but it neither starts nor ends in December, so the entire month is in standard time.
The median cloud cover ranges from 52% (partly cloudy) to 58% (partly cloudy). The trend is for the sky to be becoming cloudier with the median cloud cover increasing by 6% from the start to the end of the month.
On December 16, a representative day, the sky is clear or mostly clear 38% of the time, partly cloudy 21% of the time, and mostly cloudy or overcast 39% of the time.
The average probability that some form of precipitation will be observed in a given day is 27%, with little variation over the course of the month.
Throughout December, the most common forms of precipitation are light rain, moderate rain, and thunderstorms.
Light rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 42% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around December 29, when it is observed during 12% of all days.
Moderate rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 34% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around December 21, when it is observed during 9% of all days.
Thunderstorms are the most severe precipitation observed during 11% of those days with precipitation. They are most likely around December 22, when it is observed during 3% of all days.
Either snow is exceptionally unlikely to fall at this location in December or this station does not reliably report precipitation types.
The relative humidity typically ranges from 54% (mildly humid) to 93% (very humid) over the course of a typical December, rarely dropping below 35% (comfortable) and reaching as high as 100% (very humid).
The air is driest around December 12, at which time the relative humidity drops below 63% (mildly humid) three days out of four; it is most humid around December 31, rising above 89% (very humid) three days out of four.
Dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find the weather than relative humidity because it more directly relates to whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid.
Over the course of a typical December, the dew point typically varies from 46°F (dry) to 62°F (mildy humid) and is rarely below 28°F (dry) or above 71°F (very muggy).
The time of the month between December 1 and December 31 is the most comfortable, with dew points that are neither too dry nor too muggy.
Over the course of December typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 12 mph (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 17 mph (moderate breeze).
The highest average wind speed of 7 mph (light breeze) occurs around December 16, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 12 mph (moderate breeze).
The lowest average wind speed of 7 mph (light breeze) occurs around December 22, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 12 mph (gentle breeze).