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Sticky Sunday ties record of 96 at SRQ

MANATEE — The sizzling days of August are here, tying a record high set in 1993 of 96 degrees.

The tying temperature was recorded Sunday at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, said Ernie Jillson, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Ruskin. Climate records date back to 1948.

“Yesterday, the sea breeze took a long time to develop,” he explained Monday. When the sea breeze blows over the Gulf of Mexico and east over Manatee County, temperatures cool; conversely, if the sea breeze is tardy, the sticky Florida peninsula provides no cooling effect.

Monday, SRQ recorded a high of 94, according to the weather service.

That’s way too warm for Mark Brewer, 39, of Bradenton.

He was sitting in his truck outside the county tax collector’s office at Lakewood Ranch, with all the windows rolled up and the air-conditioner grinding away.

“It’s pretty hot,” he said. “I’m staying inside.”

He felt lucky, though, because his son, Ryan, 15, is working at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. His daughter, Cora, 11, is a competitive skater who practices there.

“It’s much nicer to be in an ice-skating competition than on the soccer field,” Brewer said.

The ice rink is one logical place to find relief from oppressive heat, and another is at the pool.

“Yeah, definitely on hotter days, we have more people,” said Sean Estely, recreation coordinator for G.T. Bray Aquatic Center in Bradenton.

Still, the park, which boasts three pools, was busy but not mobbed on Monday.

“It’s more when the summer starts off, we have a lot more people,” Estely said. “But kids are starting to get ready to go back to school. On a hot weekend day, we’ll be packed.”

Meanwhile, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami monitored a broad area of low pressure west-southwest of the South Cape Verde Islands, reporting conditions “still appear favorable for development of this system.”

The center estimated a 30 to 50 percent chance that the system would become a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

It would be the Atlantic hurricane season’s first named storm: Ana.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 708-7908 or at skennedy@bradenton.com.

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