If it seemed a little hotter than normal on Sunday, it was.
Miami’s high of 98 degrees made it the hottest May day recorded in the city, National Weather Service meteorologist Larry Kelly said. That temperature was recorded at 4 p.m.
NWS meteorologist Arlena Moses predicted the sweltering heat would carry over on Memorial Day, with highs of 94 to 95 degrees, just below the previous May record of 96 degrees. The average May temperature is around 88 degrees, she said.
Fort Lauderdale came close to breaking its May record of 96 degrees, reaching a high of 95 on Sunday.
Moses attributed the high temperatures to stronger western winds that hampered the sea breeze pushing in, compounded by a nearly cloudless sky. With the sun in full force, she advised alcohol-drinking revelers to dilute their intake with water.
“Drink plenty of water,” she said. “Make sure you’re checking on the very young and elderly.”
Temperatures will drop to around the high 70s or low 80s on Sunday and Monday night, she said.
Miami Beach Fire Rescue received 20 calls related to heat exhaustion Saturday and Sunday. At least 13 people were treated for heat-related ailments — like dizziness, fatigue and even a seizure — said Steve Williams, a team commander for Florida International University’s FAST medical team.
The team set up a 10-bed critical care field hospital to help Miami Beach Fire Rescue manage the large crowds lured in by the air and sea show, but Williams said he was expecting to be busier, especially with Sunday being a record-setting scorcher.
Twenty-six people in total visited the tent hospital over the two days, far less than the 80 to 90 patients Williams’ team has treated at Fort Lauderdale’s Air and Sea Show in years past. Williams attributed the low number of incidents to good planning from the city, who he said employed pickup trucks full of ice and water bottles to keep beachgoers hydrated.
“We were anticipating way more problems related to heat,” he said.
This story was updated to reflect a record-setting temperature of 98 degrees at 4 p.m.