So what happened to cause this inconsistent growth and how should I fix it?
Tempdb is used (and can grow) when users explicitly create objects like temp tables, variables, cursors, or stored procedures. Tempdb is also used when the database engine creates work tables for sorts or spooling, and row versioning operations.
It’s often difficult to diagnose what happened on a SQL Server after the fact. There are many resources online to determine what is currently using tempdb but not a lot of information from processes that may have run days ago.
Read on for some tips to help manage tempdb growth better.