Jun 28, 2023 - Climate

"Extremely dangerous" heat forecast for Miami

Illustration of a beach umbrella with a thermometer for the base on a hot beach

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

South Florida temperatures could hit record highs Wednesday and Thursday, as meteorologists warn it will be "extremely dangerous" outside.

Driving the news: The weather team at CBS Miami is forecasting a high of 94° for both days, which would match heat records for those dates set in 2020.

Why it matters: Extreme heat, defined by Miami-Dade County as consecutive days of 90° or higher, leads to about 34 deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations every year in the county, the Miami Herald reports.

  • Miami-Dade has more than 100,000 outdoor workers, the most of any county in Florida, but they have no legal protections guaranteeing water and shade breaks.
  • The county says that, since 1970, Miami-Dade has had an average increase of days above 90° from 84 to 133 per year.

The latest: Last month, the National Weather Service in Miami lowered the threshold required to issue heat advisories as part of a pilot program with the county after local leaders said the previous metric failed to adequately warn residents of extreme heat.

  • A heat advisory is now triggered when the heat index, or "feels like" temperature, reaches 105° for at least two hours — down from 108°.
  • An excessive heat warning is now triggered when the heat index reaches 110° for at least two hours — down from 113°.
  • The NWS has issued at least two heat advisories this month under the new thresholds.

What we're watching: Outdoor workers are lobbying for the County Commission to pass worker protections that would mandate paid breaks to drink water and rest in the shade when the heat index passes 90°.

Be smart: Heat stroke can overcome you quickly. If you're out in the sun and feeling lightheaded, confused or weak, seek medical attention and call 911.

  • Drink a lot of fluids throughout the day, including with electrolytes, and avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
  • Limit outdoor activities to the early morning or evening hours.
  • If you work outdoors, slow down, take breaks in cool or shaded areas and drink cool fluids every hour.

Worth your time: Read the Herald's reporting highlighting the plight of outdoor workers in Miami.


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