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Heat advisory issued for Saturday in Tampa Bay area

A heat advisory is in effect through 7 p.m. today, and the National Weather Service advises that Tampa Bay residents stay hydrated and keep strenuous activity to a minimum.

Temperatures reached 90 by noon, and they're still climbing. Add in the humidity and it could feel as hot as 110 degrees.

"Heat advisories aren't issued here often. It's hot all summer," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Mike Clay. "But when a combination of heat, lack of rain and humidity come together, you should use extra caution."

The National Weather Service also plans to issue a similar heat advisory for noon to 7 p.m. tomorrow.

Those celebrating Father's Day with outdoor activities, such as barbecuing, should be particularly careful, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Sharp.

Today, at St. Petersburg's Juneteenth Family Festival, attendees roasted under the midday sun.

"I've been to the last four Juneteenth festivals, and it's hot every year," said Reanna Oliver, 17. "But this year it's scorching."

At MacFarlane Park in Tampa, several families celebrated birthday parties, but most stayed under the shady shelters.

Across the street, J.D. Williams, 18, joined his AAU baseball team for batting practice. He wiped away sweat as he walked off the field.

"It's real hot out here," he said. "But that's summer."

He was glad to be practicing despite the heat because he wants to do well in a USA Baseball tournament in North Carolina next week.

Heat advisories are issued when the heat index could exceed 105 for three hours during the day, and nighttime lows remain near 80 for two consecutive nights.

The National Weather Service advises that you try to stay hydrated and keep strenuous activities to a minimum, or at least do them early or late in the day. Air conditioning will probably be your best friend.

Clay said there's some good news for the weekend: Only a slight chance of thunderstorms during the afternoon. Chance of rain is only 20 percent, but if storms do form, they will be strong.

As for today, Tampa Bay will be hitting near record high temperatures of mid-90s this afternoon. Highs of 96 on Wednesday and Thursday tied the record for those dates.

Strong storms hit parts of Tampa Bay last Thursday night, including reports of some damage in Hillsborough County. Wednesday also brought heavy storms that caused damage in Hillsborough and reports of hail.

The National Weather Service is calling for isolated and scattered thunderstorms this afternoon, with expected high winds, lightning, small hail and heavy rainfall.

Heat advisory issued for Saturday in Tampa Bay area 06/19/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 22, 2009 8:35am]
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