Apr 29, 2024 - News

Florida predicted to have unusually hot summer

Illustration of a thermometer shaped like an upwards arrow, with the mercury rising.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Florida is likely to face a hotter-than-usual summer, according to new forecasts and research.

Why it matters: Extreme heat is a major public health threat and plays a role in droughts and wildfires.

The big picture: Everywhere in the Lower 48 — except for North Dakota — is projected to be hotter than average, but with varying odds.

  • Florida has a 40% to 50% chance of an unusually hot summer.

Zoom in: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill this month banning local governments from requiring heat-exposure protections, such as mandated breaks, for outdoor workers.

Threat level: The way climate change is altering the character of American summers increasingly stands out, and is one reason to take note given the hotter-than-average outlook.

Yes, but: Anthony Artusa, a meteorologist at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in Maryland, pushed back against recent media headlines suggesting the lower 48 could see its "hottest summer ever" in 2024.

  • "Nevertheless, what [models] do support is an unusually hot summer this year, especially for the South-Central and Western areas of the contiguous U.S., and people should be prepared for this," he said.

The National Weather Service unveiled an expanded "HeatRisk" forecast map, with a color-coded scale aimed at communicating the health risks from heat exposure.

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