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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Above-average temps could bring heat advisory to Tampa

— Sunny. Check. Hot. Check.

Unbearable. Double check.

“These temperatures are above normal for this time of year,” said Andrew McKaughan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin. “Not a good day to spend a lot of time outside.”

The forecast? More of the same, at least for the next couple days.

The average high this time of the year is is 90 degrees. On Wednesday, it reached 93 at Tampa International Airport, where the official temperature is kept.

The heat index - the measure of how hot it feels - is worse. The heat index was well over 100 in Tampa on Wednesday and hit 107 in Sarasota.

To warrant a heat advisory, the heat index has to reach 108. That could come today, McKaughan said.

The abnormally high temperatures are coming because there is dry air overhead, unusual at this time of year, McKaughan said. The dry air prevents cloud cover, meaning more sun and fewer afternoon showers typical in the summer months.

Susan Tamme, a Tampa Fire Rescue district chief, said it's important that people stay hydrated during hot, dry weather to prevent heat stroke. It's also a good idea to drink beverages containing electrolytes, she said, but to drink only minimal amounts of coffee, alcohol or soda.

“All those add to the dehydration effect,” she said.

The first signs of becoming overheated are feeling nauseous, dizzy or cramping, Tamme said. Immediately enter an air conditioned home or building and hydrate, she said. If a person's core temperature rises and they stop sweating, they're on the verge of a heat stroke, she said.

The Hillsborough County School District is mindful of the rising temperatures. High school football players who train in the Florida heat are reminded to not overdo it while working out in the hot sun, said Steve Hegarty, a school district spokesman.

There are protocols in place and coaches are taught about proper hydration for their players, Hegarty said.

“We take that very, very seriously,” Hegarty said. “It affects kids when they're working real hard.”

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