NWS warns of a high heat index in South Florida
The National Weather Service in Miami is warning people to be careful due to a heat index of above 100 degrees on Wednesday. Other areas of Florida are also seeing heat indices of 100 degrees or higher. Without proper precautions during hot weather, adults, children and pets can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
NWS Miami issued a hazardous weather outlook Wednesday morning stating that the max heat index is expected to reach 107 degrees, and that "max heat indices will continue to rise into the triple digits throughout most of the week." This is Miami's sixth consecutive day with a heat index above 100 degrees. Unlike simple air temperature, the heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, is what the temperature feels like to the human body.
The NWA classifies a heat index of 90 degrees to 103 degrees as "extreme caution" and 103 degrees to 124 degrees as "danger." The conditions in both categories make heat cramps, exhaustion and stroke possible to likely, respectively. Physical exertion in high temperatures can lead to serious health issues even in healthy adults. Symptoms include dizziness, thirst, sweating, nausea and weakness. While most heat illnesses resolve themselves by resting and drinking cool liquids, in severe cases, developing heat stroke can lead to hospitalization. Young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to heat illness.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 917 children have died in hot cars since 2018. Never leave a child unattended in a car, even for a short while. Additionally, pets should never be left in a car. Animals can die in an overheated vehicle even if a window has been cracked open.