Summer slams Tampa Bay with extreme heat on first day

Summer is officially here as of 11:54 a.m. Friday, bringing with it a heat index in the triple digits and no rain for relief.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times
Julia Cortes, 13, of Williamstown, New Jersey, left, and Erika Gould, 19, of Pinehill, New Jersey, are hit by a surprise wave generated by the passing Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise (offshore) during a visit to Clearwater Beach.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times Julia Cortes, 13, of Williamstown, New Jersey, left, and Erika Gould, 19, of Pinehill, New Jersey, are hit by a surprise wave generated by the passing Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise (offshore) during a visit to Clearwater Beach.
Published June 21

Summer is coming in hot, making quite an impression this year, pushing back the rain for a few days and bringing a heat index in the triple digits.

Tampa Bay has had a wet week, but that all changes with the solstice. There's little to no rain in the forecast until the middle of next week. Just lots on sun and lots of heat, according to the National Weather Service.

West of Interstate 75, afternoon highs are going to be in the lower 90s all weekend, while they'll climb to the middle 90s to the east. Some areas could jump to the upper 90s. That won't be the hottest it's ever been, but the temperature doesn't have to break records to be dangerous, Jennifer Hubbard, a National Weather Service forecaster, said.

"Make sure you stay safe," she said. "There’s definitely the chance that you could have issues if you’re not careful."

While low 90s might not seem that intimidating, when you factor in the humidity, the heat index will be over 100 degrees. And with few clouds for cover and no rain for relief, things can get sketchy quick. There's risk of sun stroke, burning and dehydration. Hubbard said anyone going outside should practice good heat safety. Wear light clothes, put on sun block, stay hydrated and head indoors for the afternoon if you can.

And, of course, do not leave children or pets locked in a car, she said.

Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at dfigueroa@tampabay.com. Follow @danuscripts.

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