What is a heat dome? Florida heat wave, dangers, advisories explained

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Video: What is a ‘heat dome’?

A heat dome is an area of high pressure high in the atmosphere that strengthens and becomes stagnant.


There’s no doubt it’s hot in Florida, with record temperatures being broken and more expected to fall over the weekend.

A heat advisory for three counties in South Florida was issued Friday, June 7, until 6 p.m., warning residents of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties about high temperatures and heat indices that could hit 110 today.

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The heat is sending residents to Google, asking if there is a heat dome causing the high temps across the state.

Here’s what is going on.

What is a ‘heat dome’?

The phrase “heat dome” really isn’t a scientific term, according to Jessie Schaper, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Melbourne.

Where confusion comes may be what’s happening in the atmosphere.

“Under high pressure, the air subsides — sinks — toward the surface. This sinking air acts as a dome capping the atmosphere, NOAA said.

“This cap helps to trap heat instead of allowing it to lift. Without lift, there is little or no convection and, therefore, little or no convective clouds — cumulus clouds — with minimal chances for rain. The end result is a continual build-up of heat at the surface that we experience as a heat wave.”

A heat wave is a period of abnormally hot weather generally lasting more than two days, according to the National Weather Service.

If it’s not a heat dome, what’s causing the high temps over Florida?

The high temperatures over Florida are the influence of a system of high pressure that’s been over the southern U.S. over the last couple of weeks.

“That’s helping cause the higher temperatures than we commonly see. For most of May, it’s contributed to higher-than-normal temperatures,” Schaper said.

CDC maps heat-related illnesses by state, county

The Heat-Related Illness and Temperature map issued by the Centers for Disease Control shows the rate of emergency department visits associated with heat-related illness per 100,000 emergency visits by region.

➤ Interactive map: See daily and weekly illnesses

When will temperatures drop in Florida?

“Going into next week, we’ll have much more moisture coming from the Caribbean to shift the high-pressure system away from us and into the Atlantic,” Schaper said.

Numerous downpours and high rainfall are forecast from the start through the middle of the week, the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network said.

“As of now, most models show the highest rainfall across southern Florida. Some areas could receive up to 5 inches between Sunday and Wednesday.”

What is a heat advisory?

A heat advisory is one of several types of health alerts issued by the National Weather Service. A heat advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions.

In Florida, except for Miami-Dade County, the National Weather Services offices around the state would issue a heat advisory if the heat index is expected to reach 108 to 112 degrees. The National Weather Service Miami said Miami/Dade County wanted a lower threshold for an advisory for its population, which was set at 105 degrees.

If a heat advisory is issued, take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don’t take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die.

Heat stroke vs heat exhaustion: How to tell the difference

When your body can’t cool itself, your body temperature rises. If it goes too high, it can be life-threatening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided a list of warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illnessesand what you should do.

Heat cramps

Heat cramps may be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke.

Symptoms: Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen and heavy sweating.First aid: Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water unless the person complains of nausea, then stop giving water. Seek immediate medical attention if cramps last longer than 1 hour.

Heat exhaustion

Symptoms: Heavy sweating, Weakness or tiredness, cool, pale, clammy skin; fast, weak pulse, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, headache, fainting,First aid: Move person to a cooler environment, preferably a well-air-conditioned room. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths or have person sit in a cool bath. Offer sips of water. If person vomits more than once seek immediate medical attention if the person vomits, symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

Heat stroke

Symptoms: Throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, body temperature above 103°F, hot, red, dry or damp skin, rapid and strong pulse, fainting, loss of consciousness.First Aid: Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Delay can be fatal.Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment. Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath. Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures.Do not give fluids.

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Publish date : 2024-06-07 13:04:41

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Publish date : 2024-06-08 22:39:27

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