Brevard County is under an extreme heat warning
It’s not your imagination: This has truly been a summer for the record books.
In a first for the region, the National Weather Service on Wednesday issued an excessive heat warning for Brevard and all surrounding east-central Florida counties as record high temperatures continue to impact the state.
This means that residents — from teenagers playing soccer to those going to the beach — will need to plan any outdoor excursions with an eye toward the need to keep children, pets and older residents safe from the heat.
“It’s been a hot summer, hotter than usual,” said Scott Kelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
Kelly noted that the heat index — The way heat and moisture feel on human skin — Temperatures are expected to reach 113 to 115 degrees in parts of Brevard, Indian River, Orange, Osceola and other counties along Florida’s east coast.
On Monday, Brevard tied a 2011 record with 98 degrees. On Wednesday, temperatures are expected to be close to the record high of 98 degrees set in 1980, Kelly said.
“We’ll get close to that. We’ll also get a sea breeze, and if the sea breeze picks up a little earlier, we probably won’t reach that threshold,” he said.
For residents, the hot weather may prompt a number of ways to cool off, from heading to air-conditioned movie theaters to waiting after sunset to look for thunderstorms and lightning flashing brilliantly in the distant night sky. And of course, there are frozen desserts, from ice cream to tropical concoctions.
The extreme heat has so far not caused an increase in heat-related illnesses, prompting residents to seek emergency medical help.
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“We haven’t seen an uptick at this point,” said Lance Skelly, a spokesman for the four-hospital chain HealthFirst.
Christine Clancy, a Health First certified athletic trainer working with 60 students who were attending football practice at Melbourne High School, said workers were paying close attention to detect any signs of heat exhaustion.
Recently, some soccer practices were moved to the morning, she said. She added that tents were set up and workers were distributing water to the players.
“We have a heat stress chart that we follow. We also have water breaks. It was so hot at one point that we stopped training,” Clancy said of the hands-on training conducted before the start of the school year.
Why is it so hot in Florida?
Meteorological officials point to weather patterns over the past two months.
July — In general, one of the hottest regions ever — It was considered hotter than normal with above normal precipitation across Brevard and surrounding counties.
The westerly flow also mostly overcomes the daily sea breeze, which usually provides a rainy afternoon respite for residents. Sea temperatures were warm, Kelly said.
The final element in Brevard’s long, hot summer was a high-pressure ridge that prevented natural cooling at night, with morning temperatures dipping into the 80s.
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“We’re starting to get warmer these days,” Kelly said.
Rain chances are expected to increase this weekend.
J.D. Gallup is the criminal justice/breaking news reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallop at 321-917-4641 or email@example.com. Twitter: @JDGallop.