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This Weekend Temperatures Will Soar


The “Dog Days” of August are upon us, with a week and a half to go in the month and this weekend is expected to be an extra sultry one.

Florida in August is always hot, but Mother Nature is raising the bar over the next few days. John Purdy is at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

"Generally we're looking at high pressure systems, which keep the clouds away. That means more sunshine which heatens up the surface of the earth."

The National Weather Service expects to issue heat advisories over the weekend. High temperatures are forecast to be in the mid- 90’s, with lows around the 80 degree mark for Friday, Saturday and into Sunday.

"Also we have this incredible amount of low level moisture and that adds to the higher humidity and that is what drives the heat index up. We are looking at 105 or 108 degrees, up to 110 degrees."

The extra heat, for most people, is just sticky and inconvenient. But it’s a serious issue for kids, seniors, those dealing with chronic illnesses and outdoor workers. John Dosh – Escambia County’s Emergency Director – says also be careful during outdoor activities. He says to be sure to drink more water than you think you need and try to stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day.

High heat and humidity can also bring about problems for healthy people ranging from heat cramps and exhaustion – which are serious enough -- to the more-dangerous heat stroke. Dosh says know the warning signs -- such as when the body is no longer sweating.

"That's an indicator that you could be going into a heat exhuastion situation: like heat stroke."

Get the victim out of the sun to a cooler area; loosen their clothing, give cool, wet cloths and plenty of water. If symptoms persist seek medical attention.

Concern should also be given to pets. Keep them out of direct sunlight during the heat of the day – roughly 10 a.m. to 6:00 pm. And if at all possible, keep them at home.

"You can see pets left in cars at parking lots all over town," he says.

Daniel Hahn at Santa Rosa Emergency Operations says the heat building up inside a parked car on a summer day can reach 130 degrees.

Special care also must be taken with older residents, and those with chronic illnesses. All residents are urged to keep abreast of weather conditions over the next few days, and stay indoors as much as possible to limit exposure to the sun.

Many of Gulf Power Company’s more than 430,000 customers likely will see the impact of the stifling weather in their upcoming electric bills. The utility advises keeping A/C units at around 78 degrees. And spokesman Jeff Rogers says they have a number of programs to help out -- listed at www.gulfpower.com.

John Purdy at the National Weather service says if you can sweat out the weekend, there’s a break next week – sort of.

"We are looking at dropping back down into the low to mid 90s, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, that will bring our heat indecises down to at least 105."

Older residents who feel they need help in coping with the heat can call a help line, which is run by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. That number is 800-96-ELDER, or 800-963-5337.