Tampa Bay, Florida

The city has a total area of 175.3 sq mi, which is made up of 61.8 sq mi (35.3%) of water and 113.4 sq mi of land, according to the United States Census Bureau. Only 48 feet above sea level is where the city’s highest point is located. Old Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay, which border the city of Tampa, combine to form Tampa Bay, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa’s principal source of fresh water, the Hillsborough River, pours into Hillsborough Bay just in front of Downtown Tampa. A smaller river, the Palm River, flows into McKay Bay, a smaller inlet, which is located at the northeastern extremity of Hillsborough Bay, just east of the city.

Tampa Bay region has a humid subtropical climate, while some tropical traits can be seen due to its location on the Florida peninsula on Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. As one of the most densely populated areas in Florida, Tampa Bay demography plays an important role in shaping the region’s climate.The typical climate of Tampa includes dry and moderate winters and hot, humid summers with frequent thunderstorms. Year-round, the temperature ranges from 53 to 77 °F for lows and 71 to 91 °F for highs. Tampa is divided into two different USDA climatic zones. Tampa is classified as being in USDA zones 9b north of Kennedy Boulevard away from the bay and 10a close to the shorelines and on the interbay peninsula south of Kennedy Boulevard, according to the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Tampa rarely experiences serious damage from tropical storms or hurricanes, although being threatened by them virtually every hurricane season. Since the category 4 hurricane in the immediate Tampa Bay area, none have made landfall there. Near Tarpon Springs, the 1921 Tampa Bay hurricane made landfall and left behind significant damage in the entire region. Four major storms were predicted to make landfall in the Tampa Bay region over the previous few decades from the south-southwest, which is the worst-case track and would cause a maximum storm surge occurrence. All of these storms, however, diverged away from Tampa Bay and made landfall farther down the coast, causing significant damage in southwest Florida.

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