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Scorcher of a weekend ahead

By Staff | Jul 30, 2011

Florida residents can expect a hot weekend with the possibility of heat indexes reaching 105 to 110 degrees today and Sunday.

State meteorologist Amy Godsey said the predicted high heat index is due to a strong high pressure over the region combined with lingering tropical moisture, which will result in both above- normal temperatures and humidity.

“It is common to see heat index values between 105 and 110 during each summer month in Florida,” she said. “However, some heat waves are more dangerous because they are widespread or last several days.”

There is only a 30 percent chance of rain near coastal areas of Southwest Florida this weekend.

“Rain chances will increase again beginning Monday, but high humidity may still cause heat index values to reach near 105 degrees before cooling rains arrive,” Godsey said.

She said even if you’re a seasoned Floridian and accustomed to the higher temperatures, heat still can cause physical harm including sunstroke, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

“We encourage everyone to take precautions to be safe during periods of high heat indexes,” Godsey said.

Those who wish to be outdoors this weekend are advised to wear lightweight and light colored clothing, along with taking frequent breaks out of the direct sun in shaded areas or inside an air-conditioned building. Remember to also protect your skin by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat.

“The most important thing you can do to mitigate the affects of extreme heat is to stay hydrated, even if you are not thirsty or doing strenuous activity,” she said. “Also, remember your pets as they can also succumb to the effects of high heat. Make sure they have a shaded area to stay in, as well as plenty of water.”

For additional information about the heat index visit www.FloridaDisaster.org.