TAMPA, Fla. — A heat advisory is in place for several Tampa Bay area counties from 12 - 6 p.m. on Thursday as our area nears record high temperatures.
The included counties are:
Temperatures will reach the mid-90s, but the index is expected to be up to 112°F at times.
The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual temperature.
The Florida Department of Health provides these general tips for staying safe in the heat:
- Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear a hat or to use an umbrella.
- Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day – morning hours between 4 and 7 a.m.
- Stay indoors when possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
- Be a good neighbor. Check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
- Don’t forget your pets. Make sure they have access to water, ventilation and shade.
According to the National Weather Service, extreme heat is the number one weather-related killer.
Florida is used to hot and humid weather, but when the heat index values reach the 112 range like on Thursday, it can be dangerous. That's why one Tampa Bay area resident said he gets his outdoor activities done before noon.
"It's hot, still, but it's a little cooler than when it hits noon. So I come out here in the morning and try to get it out the way before the noon heat hits because it's really bad," Jamar Black said.
Whether you’re outdoors by choice, or because you have to be, you run the risk of heat stroke if you don’t take proper precautions.
“Soon as you walk outside, you start to sweat and you're losing, you're losing water," Rick Davis, with the National Weather Service, said.
With temps in the mid-90s and high humidity Davis said you can quickly go from just feeling hot to having a heat stroke.
“You really need to watch out for your symptoms, like are you sweating so much and then all of a sudden you're not sweating anymore because you've sweated all the water out of your body," Davis added.
Davis said the direct sun can make temps feel 10 degrees hotter.
Lightweight long sleeves can help keep you cool and switching between water and drinks with electrolytes will help keep you hydrated.
“What I do is I drink a lot of water or fluids before I come outside. So the night before I drink a lot of fluids before. Then I also bring me some water, Gatorade," Black explained.
Black said his outdoor activities are done before noon which is highly recommended. But, for those who work outdoors, taking more breaks than normal inside somewhere cool is a necessity.
"We try to jump in the truck as much as we can when we need A.C., eat light I guess you want to say, just don’t do too much and just pace yourself," Casey Rey, a foreman with Davey Tree, said.
Rey told ABC Action News that his team is required to always have ice water in the truck.
“If anybody’s feeling dehydrated or anything like that I let them take a break, and whatever they need to do, to not get heat stroke because it happens all the time," Rey added.
To limit your risk for heat stroke you can also: Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol, eat foods with water like celery, cucumbers, berries and apples and drink half your weight (in oz) of water every day.