Today is November 30th, the official end to the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. August and September were active months with hurricanes like Irma and Jose but there were plenty of tropical waves too. Now that hurricane season is over, what will bring wind to the Tampa Bay area?
It’s common for cold fronts to come through St. Petersburg in December. The most common indicator that a cold front will come through will be the rapid drop in temperature. Any time there’s a significant drop in temperature there will be wind. You can watch Baynews 9’s forecast for a drop in temperature like the one below.
A few days after a cold front passes through, it will begin to warm up again. The water will have cooled off but the land during the day will warm up fast if it’s forecasted to be sunny. The change in temperature between land and water will lead to a sea breeze.
A sea breeze is when the wind blows from any body of water towards or onto land. For St. Petersburg this would mean the wind would come from the west, providing a northwest, west or southwest wind. The most common wind direction for a sea breeze will be a northwest wind. Signs of a sea breeze will begin early afternoon when the wind shifts to the northwest and the first place to typically show signs of a sea breeze will be the Clearwater Pier Sensor.
Sea breezes are often under forecasted so it is worth while to learn the signs of a sea breeze. If you know how to identify if a sea breeze is forming and can find the best place to ride, then you can enjoy solo sessions like this one:
In summary, we suggest to first look for changes in temperature. Changes in temperature are a good indicator for wind. Watch for thermal effects in the morning where there will be a 15 kt NE wind at the east side of the Skyway Bridge or at East Beach Fort Desoto in the morning. Be aware that NE winds typically begin dropping around 10am, so get there early! If there is a decent NE wind in the morning, then chances are you’re going to be able to enjoy a NW sea breeze in the afternoon. Keep an eye on the signs and enjoy your time on the water!