Last Updated: Wednesday, 12:09 p.m.
Wednesday update: The National Weather Service is warning of excessive and dangerous heat again, with the heat index reaching 117 in the shade in the Flagler-Palm Coast region on Wednesday, which may be the summer’s highest reading yet. The dangerous heat potential, with index readings of up to 120, will continue not only to the end of the week, as originally forecast, but through at least the early portion of next week.
The warnings are in effect daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There may be brief, scattered cooling periods as thunderstorms roll through the area Thursday afternoon.
The Flagler Health Department issued a heat advisory Tuesday afternoon that it later inexplicably recalled. “With temperatures soaring and heat indexes reaching dangerous levels, it is important to prioritize the well-being of individuals and communities,” the advisory stated. “Avoid direct sunlight and long exposure to the sun. Spend time in air-conditioned environments. If you do not have access to air conditioning, consider visiting public buildings or
public spaces with shade. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing to help your body regulate its temperature. Protect your head and face with a wide-brimmed hat and use sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Minimize outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. If you must be outside, take frequent breaks in shaded areas and avoid strenuous physical exertion.”
The earlier story is below.
Aug. 7–An excessive heat warning is in effect today in inland and coastal Flagler County, including Palm Coast and Flagler Beach, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The warning means that dangerously hot conditions with heat index values up to 115 are expected, according to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. The heat ide value applies in the shade. Flagler County Emergency management puts the range of the heat index between 112 and 117.
The forecast for the rest of the week is not much different: as of today, the heat index for Flagler-Palm Coast is expected to range between 114 and 116 every day at least through Friday.
Actual highs are expected in the mid-90 range. But the heat index is the heat your body will feel when exposed to the combination of temperature and humidity. The body has a natural ability to reduce its temperature by perspiring. But high humidity hampers perspiration’s ability to evaporate, thus reducing the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.
Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses–heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke–particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities. The Weather Service urges residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out ff the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.
The temperatures are a direct reflection of a warming planet due to human activity, on the heels of the hottest month ever in July, around the globe. The previous record was set in July 2019. Heat records have been broken routinely since 1980, with accelerating intensity.
In mid-July, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that “water temperatures throughout the Gulf of Mexico and in the Caribbean Sea have been approximately 1.8-5.4˚F (1-3˚C) warmer than normal. Temperatures around Southern Florida are the warmest on record (going back to 1981).” That has raised concerns about hurricane season, which is moving toward its peak period in September.
For now there is no tropical storm activity in the forecast for the next 48 hours. Ocean heat is putting corals in South Florida in extreme danger. Itw on;t take much: “If the heat stress does not subside, the coral will die,” NOAA reports. “Mortality becomes likely if the corals experience ocean temperatures of 1°C greater than the historical maximum monthly average for two months, or 2°C greater than the historical maximum monthly average for one month.