How to stay safe in really hot weather
In the wake of record high temperatures being forecast for Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a weather advisory for Manatee County and the Tampa Bay region as the heat index soars.
The National Weather Service issued the first heat advisory for this area since 2011 on Wednesday morning and will be in effect from noon until 6 p.m.
Temperatures are expecting to range between record highs of 96-99 degrees throughout the area, but the heat index, which is what it feels like outside, will range between 108-110 degrees.
An hour before the advisory was to begin on Wednesday, the heat index in Bradenton was reported to be 102 degrees.
The National Weather Service reports such high temperatures coupled with a high heat index can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The National Weather Service advises to drink plenty of liquids, stay indoors in an air conditioned environment and limit outdoor activities.
Anyone overcome by heat should be moved immediately to somewhere cooler. Heat stroke is serious and can lead to death.
Spectrum Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker said there’s good reason for the advisory.
“Here’s the thing,” Linker said. “It’s not that much more so than a normal summer day. The humidity is down from what is normal. We had a wet couple of weeks in early June, but we aren’t in the typical rainy season yet. So the pattern is dry air, which heats faster than if we had more humidity.”
Linker said the area should move out of the dry pattern by Thursday and get back to a more summer pattern with higher chances of rain. However, for areas that don’t see those cooling showers and storms, it could get hotter with the anticipated easterly winds.
“Not everyone will see that moisture, but those east winds will likely push more storms into the area, which can cool things back down,” Linker said.