I'm sure you've noticed over the past few days that its been very hot and humid. Temperatures have been in the mid to upper 90s across the area, but humidity has made it feel much hotter!
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory the past few days including today, but what exactly is a heat advisory? These are issed during the hottest parts of the day and is in effect for all of Southwest Florida from noon to 6 pm. In each part of the country a heat advisory has different criteria.
The criteria for a heat advisory in Southwest Florida is Heat Indexes over 110 degrees. In New York a heat advisory is issued when heat indexes are expected to be between 95 and 104 degrees.
The heat index is the temperature it feels like when you factor in the air temperature and the humidity. The higher the humidity the hotter it feels especially when temperatures are in the 90s.
In order for a heat advisory to be issued the heat index has to remain at or above criteria for at least 2 hours.
A heat advisory means that people can be affected by heat if precautions are not taken. If you do go outside make sure you drink plenty of fluids and stay out of the sun. Try to stay in an air-conditioned rooms and check on relatives and neighbors. Don't leave children or pets in an unattended car as temperatures inside could reach 130 degrees or more.
If you must work outside wear light colored clothing, take breaks in the shade and try to do strenuous work early in the morning or in the evening before the hottest part of the day. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location and if necessary call 911.
Heat advisories are also issued to raise public awareness that these precautions need to be taken. Heat advisories are also used to trigger other actions and regulations such as no evictions, no turning off of power, and changing outdoor work requirements.
Saturday looks to be the last day with excessive heat and humidity before temperatures return closer to average, but even an average day can have temperatures in the low to mid 90s with heat indexes over 100 degrees so take precautions when outside for an extended period of time.