(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)
Get out the sports drinks and the sunscreen — Florida is in the midst of its third heat wave of the summer season.
The entire state was under a heat advisory Wednesday with the exception of South Florida counties and coastal East-Central Florida from Brevard County south. A heat advisory means a “feels like” temperature of at least 108 degrees for at least two hours.
The only reason South Florida isn’t under a heat advisory is because cloud cover and sea breezes may keep heat index readings under 108. Interior areas are also under a greater thunderstorm threat, the National Weather Service said.
Summer started out with a bang this year with actual air temperatures in the triple digits in North Florida for the start of June, followed by another round of extreme heat at the end of the month with extra doses of high humidity added to the mix. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said July would start out hot in Florida and forecasters look to be right on target.
Miami hit 98 (actual air temperature) on Tuesday, thanks to a delayed East Coast sea breeze. That easily busted the old record high of 95. Look for crazy hot readings all over the state on Wednesday, with the exception of the far western panhandle.
“Highs this afternoon will be quite warm, and with high humidities in place, heat index values will be 105-110 this afternoon,” the National Weather Service in Tampa said.
In South Florida and Central Florida, strong storms could be an issue for late in the day, forecasters said, but sea breezes may keep them away from the immediate coast.
RECORD WATCH: In addition to the record high in Miami, four cities tied record warm lows Tuesday. They were Key West, which bottomed out at 84; West Palm Beach, with a low of 80 that matched the original record set 117 years ago in 1902; Daytona Beach, which tied a record low from 1998 with 77 degrees; and Sanford, which tied a record warm low with 78.
Sea surface temperature anomalies as analyzed by satellite on June 27. (Image credit: NOAA/ NESDIS)
TROPICS WATCH: Hurricane Barbara reached Category 4 status in the eastern Pacific, the season’s first major hurricane. It was heading in the general direction of Hawaii, but was expected to encounter heavy wind shear that should significantly weaken it.
The National Hurricane Center is predicting no tropical threats in the Atlantic through at least Monday, and the major forecast models look clear for the next seven to 10 days.
But in a few weeks we’ll be entering the time of the year to be wary and keep an eye on the forecasts daily.
Water temperatures are astonishingly warm across the tropical and subtropical Atlantic, and warm temperature anomalies stretch all the way from the West Coast of Africa through the the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico. Waters around Florida and the Bahamas are particularly warm.
Also, wind shear is on its way down across the Gulf of Mexico and to the east of Florida, although it’s still high in the Main Development Region of the Atlantic.
NO-GO ON THE GULF: Dozens of beaches are closed on the northern Gulf coast in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas due to harmful algae blooms, CNN reports through WREG-TV in Memphis. The latest closures occurred in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Authorities say the greenish-blue algae contains bacteria that cause rashes, cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. People are being advised to stay out of the water.