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Extreme heat

The Pentagon says reported cases of heat exhaustion jumped nearly 50 percent between 2014 and 2018.

More than 45 million people across 14 Southern states are now in the midst of what’s being called a “flash drought” that’s cracking farm soil, drying up ponds and raising the risk of wildfires, scientists said Thursday.

A moderate drought is now affecting much of the Florida Panhandle, and some cities haven’t received a drop of rain in more than four weeks. This comes as Florida’s rainy season ends early and the driest months of the year are still to come.

Due to climate change, the world's oceans are getting warmer, rising higher, losing oxygen and becoming more acidic at an ever-faster pace and melting even more ice and snow, a grim international science assessment concludes.

When Shakira Franklin drives from West Baltimore to her job near the city's Inner Harbor, she can feel the summer heat ease up like a fist loosening its grip.

"I can actually feel me riding out of the heat. When I get to a certain place when I'm on my way, I'll turn off my air and I'll roll my windows down," says Franklin. "It just seems like the sun is beaming down on this neighborhood."

When Temperatures Rise, So Do Health Problems

Aug 24, 2019

A little Shakespeare came to mind during a recent shift in the Boston emergency room where I work.

"Good Mercutio, let's retire," Romeo's cousin Benvolio says. "The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, and, if we meet, we shall not 'scape a brawl."

It was hot in Boston, too, and people were brawling. The steamy summer months always seem to bring more than their fair share of violence.

But the ER was full of more than just brawlers. Heart attacks, strokes, respiratory problems — the heat appeared to make everything worse.

Heat Index
Union of Concerned Scientists

July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880, the latest in a long line of peaks that scientists say backs up predictions for man-made climate change.

More Rain Could Mean River Flooding Across Tampa Bay

Aug 14, 2019
A Flood Watch remains in effect for Tampa Bay through Friday.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

In anticipation of more heavy rain this week, the National Weather Service in Tampa has issued a Flood Watch for all of west-central Florida through Friday morning, with particular attention being paid to several rivers in the region.'

The Tampa Bay area will have to deal with drenching rains, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood watch for the region through Friday.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

First it was the heat, and now it's the rain.

After enduring a few days of scorching conditions, the Tampa Bay area will have to deal with drenching rains, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood watch for the region through Friday.

According to Ray Hawthorne, meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, the region has already received nearly 6 inches more rain than normal since June 1.

The morning lows have been so warm, they've also broken a few records across the state.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

The recent heat has been record-setting in parts of Florida, and in some unusual ways.

Sunday's high temperature of 98 degrees in Jacksonville tied its daily record for August 11 set in 2011. This is a type of record one would normally expect during a heat wave.

However, high levels of humidity have prevented the mercury from falling as much as it normally does overnight. The morning lows have been so warm, they’ve also broken a few records across the state.

Sweltering heat gripped much of Florida on Monday.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

It’s the middle of August in Florida, which means we should be accustomed to the sweltering, suffocating heat we’ve been sweating through across the Tampa Bay area – especially since the end of last week.

But if you been thinking these oppressive conditions feel just a bit worse than normal, you’re right.

It turns out that Sunday’s heat levels broke records in some parts of the region, and this trend will continue at least for the next couple of days.

This last May was the hottest ever recorded in the Sunshine State. That was followed by higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. The scorching hot temperatures means thousands of inmates across the state are spending what could potentially be a record-breaking summer without access to air conditioning.

The Florida Department of Corrections operates 50 “major facilities” across the state. Only 18 of them have air conditioning in “most of their housing,” according to the department.

Florida’s heat set record highs last month. The Union of Concerned Scientists says in less than 20 years, Florida will be so hot for so much of the year that it could literally be life threatening. The scientists in a new report say the world must reduce carbon emissions now or face extreme heat that will take lives within decades. 

A report released this week predicts a lot more days of extreme heat - so much that they're being called "killer heat" days. We conclude our three-part series with a plea from scientists for politicians to do something - before it's too late.

Heat Index
Union of Concerned Scientists

By Steve Newborn

In 1995, a heat wave killed more than 700 people in Chicago. It affected mostly elderly, African-American women who lived on their own.

A report released this week shows climate change could mean a lot more days of extreme heat for Florida and Tampa Bay, and with it, the likelihood residents will be exposed to significant health risks.

A report released Tuesday says that the nation will face extremely hot days - along with deaths from killer heat waves - in the near future if carbon emissions aren't reduced. And perhaps not surprisingly, Florida may experience some of its hottest days on record.