Weather News

Florida is flirting with record heat through the weekend. How hot will it get?

Florida will see above average heat from August into the fall, according to a new report from the Weather Channel.

But before we get there, we’ve been getting a trial run for weeks now in which the heat index has pushed beyond 100 degrees.

Look for the coming week to continue the pattern and even threaten to topple some daily records, according to the National Weather Service’s hazardous weather outlook issued Thursday.

Florida temperature highs

Friday should be the hottest day with 90 degrees in South Florida and 93 in Marathon and the other parts of the Florida Keys.

The temperature will climb to 95 degrees in Orlando Friday and Saturday, and 92 degrees in Bradenton, the Tampa Bay area and Tallahassee.

Central Florida should also see mid-90s temperatures and a triple digit heat index, WFTV-Channel 9 meteorologist Brian Shields said, as he quoted the title of Glenn Frey’s “Beverly Hills Cop” theme song, “The Heat Is On.”

Those readings will hold close through Monday as thunderstorm chances hover between 20 and 50 percent.

But it’s the heat index — what it really feels like — that will pose a health risk to those most vulnerable — the elderly, children and animals (don’t even think of leaving kids or pets in closed cars) and those who must work outdoors.

According to the National Weather Center in the Tampa Bay region, “a strengthening ridge of high pressure will produce much above average temperatures — a true summer heat wave. Highs in the 90s and triple digits combined with humidity and dewpoints surging into the upper 70s, if not low 80s, will create heat indices as high as 110 to 115 through this weekend.”

South Florida could flirt with 105 to 108 degrees over interior and Gulf coast areas on Friday, the weather service in Miami said.

Florida will see plenty of sunshine, and possible near-record heat, Thursday July 18, 2019, through the weekend, with only a mid chance of thunderstorms to offer a momentary heat respite. Howard Cohen

Night time won’t offer too much relief, either, as record warm low temperatures in the evening hours are expected, too, threatening to tie or break 123 current records, including in Florida, the National Weather Service said.

Climate group’s prediction

Get used to it. By mid-century, Florida could have more days that feel like 100 degrees than any other state, according to a new heat report by climate advocacy group, the Union of Concerned Scientists. The potential hottest region? Miami-Dade, the group’s report said.

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Thunderstorms chance

Some brief respites from the overwhelming heat could occur if Florida sees some thunderstorms over the weekend.

The National Weather Service in Miami puts storm chances at 50% in Everglades City and 27% in Miami and 28% in Fort Lauderdale Thursday afternoon into the early evening, with lightning and thunderstorm-spawning wind gusts of 45 mph or more possible.

These kind of thunderstorms will continue through the weekend and into the middle of next week, the weather service said, with chances ranging from 20% Thursday and Friday to 40% Saturday through Tuesday night in the Tampa Bay/Bradenton area.

A trough of low pressure brought storm clouds over parts of South Florida on the afternoon of July 18, 2019. Howard Cohen

A trough of low pressure moved through parts of South Florida Thursday afternoon, said CBS4 meteorologist Dave Warren. As such, a number of dark storm clouds rolled in and could boost the chance for storms into the evening. The trough is expected to drift west and into the Gulf through the night.

A marine warning was issued for offshore Northern Collier County by the National Weather Service around 2:45 p.m. as storms developed over the waters.

Visiting Walt Disney this weekend? Orlando’s looking at a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms, mingling with the heat.

Disney Cooling Fan.jpg
Misting fans at $22 a pop are a popular item in the Disney gift shops in Orlando as temperatures soar into the 90s with heat indexes busting past triple digits at the Florida tourist attraction. Jennifer Barr Lefelar For the Miami Herald

Surviving the heat

We’ve told you these tips on living with Florida’s heat often this summer. But they are worth repeating.

After all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 people in the U.S. die of extreme heat conditions each year.

So do these things:

Emily Moore, at center, jumps into the cool 77 degrees waters of Venetian Pool in Coral Gables as she participates in the Most Maximizing Out of School Time Summer Camp field trip from Fort Lauderdale’s Center for Hearing and Communication on June 21, 2019. Al Diaz

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.

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.

Get into a shaded area and chill-out if you feel lightheaded, or short of breath.

Never leave children or animals unattended in cars.

Check on people who are more susceptible to heat-related illness. iIfants and young children, people 65 and older, people who are overweight, people who have to work or exercise outdoors are at particular risk of these 100 degree and more heat indices.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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