It’s the sun!
Forgive the excitement over something easy to take for granted in the Sunshine State.
But for the thousands who’ve been stuck on construction-choked South Florida expressways during the last couple of weeks of rush-hour deluges and warnings of funnel clouds, the lack of significant rain in the forecast is happy news.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a weather story without a caveat.
Heat indexes in South Florida and the Florida Keys could peak Thursday on the last official day of spring. The National Weather Service in Miami is calling for a heat index range of 102-107 degrees.
“Above normal temperatures will continue through the weekend,” the weather service said in a hazardous weather outlook. Temperatures should be in the low 90s.
Rain chances for the first day of summer on Friday and into next week are low — about 20% — with Sunday, Monday and Tuesday bumping up to 40%. But isolated storms are still possible in the afternoons.
Surviving the heat
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 people in the U.S. die of extreme heat conditions each year.
Here are some tips on weathering the weather:
▪ Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Watch out for sugary or alcoholic drinks as these can deplete body fluid more rapidly.
▪ Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
▪ Find AC indoors — it’s a lifesaver. If your home lacks air conditioning, try to visit a place that has air conditioning, like a mall or a library. Chilling off is a good thing with heat indexes in the triple digits. Fans might make you think you’re cooling off, but according to the CDC, when temperatures are in the upper 90s electric fans won’t really prevent heat illness. A cool shower or bath is better.
▪ If going outside, go in the mornings and evenings if you can, rather than the hottest part of the day around lunchtime. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
▪ Pace yourself. If you feel lightheaded, or short of breath, get into a shaded area and rest.
▪ Never, ever leave children or animals unattended in cars.
▪ Avoid hot and heavy meals. “They add heat to your body,” the CDC says.
▪ Check on people who are more susceptible to heat-related illness to make sure they are OK. These people include infants and young children, people 65 and older, people who are overweight, people who have to work or exercise outdoors. And people who are already ill with ailments like heart disease, high blood pressure, or who take certain medications for depression, insomnia or poor circulation.